England batsman Jonathan Trott won’t play a part in this year’s Ashes series against Australia after announcing his retirement from international cricket.
Trott, who has an excellent record against Australia since making his debut in the 2009 Ashes, struggled on his recent return to the Test arena.
England drew 1-1 with the West Indies in the Caribbean in a three-Test series that concluded on Sunday, with Trott making just 72 runs in six innings including three ducks.
“This was a tough decision to make but I don’t feel my game is at the level you need to be at to play for England,” said Trott in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement on Monday.
Trott was recalled for the West Indies series for the first time since his premature exit from the 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia following the first Test in Brisbane with what team officials later said was “situational anxiety”.
Following Trott’s exit from the Australia tour, where he struggled against the short ball and the pace of left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in particular, England lost the Ashes 5-0.
Australia batsman David Warner accused Trott of being “poor and weak” for the way in which he was dismissed by Johnson in the second innings at the Gabba, comments for which he apologised when details of the England batsman’s condition were made public.
Trott took some time out from cricket before forcing his way back into the England set-up through sheer weight of runs for Warwickshire and the second-string England Lions.
At his best Trott, who played 52 Tests, 68 ODIs and seven T20s in his eight-year international career, was a reassuring presence at the crease.
His record against Australia is particularly impressive – he made 917 runs in 12 Tests with an average of 48.26.
He made 119 against Australia on debut in 2009 at The Oval which helped steer England to a series-clinching win.
Indeed the South Africa-born batsman made nine Test hundreds and went on to make 3835 Test runs at an average of 44.08.
But there was surprise among a number of pundits when Trott, usually a number three batsman, was given the job of opening alongside Cook in the West Indies, even though England’s squad contained a specialist, albeit uncapped, opener in Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth.
It proved an unsuccessful experiment, with Trott’s old problems against the short ball highlighted when he was out for a duck in the first innings of the third and final Test in Barbados fending at a bouncer from fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.
“I was honoured to be given the opportunity to come back and play international cricket again and I’m disappointed it didn’t work out,” he added in the statement.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me and given me the chance to represent England and to thank supporters for all their backing over the years.”
The 34-year-old Trott, who intends to continue his county career with Warwickshire, added: “I’ve had incredible highs and some real lows in an England shirt but wouldn’t change a thing.
“I look forward to continuing my career at Warwickshire and hopefully helping us win more silverware.”
England captain Alastair Cook, paying tribute to Trott, said: “It has been an absolute honour to play alongside Trotty in every one of his 52 Tests.
“He can be incredibly proud of all he has achieved in his career and it is no coincidence that his time in international cricket has seen the team achieve some very special things often with Trotty at the heart of our success on and off the field.”
Cook added: “To come back from events around the Brisbane Test in 2013 and earn a place back in this side is testament to his character and spirit, and although things didn’t work out as we all hoped on this current tour, he gave absolutely everything to the Three Lions every time he wore the cap.”
Former England teammate Kevin Pietersen tweeted: “You can be so proud of your England career, @Trotty! It was an absolute pleasure batting at 4 behind you & batting with you! #runmachine”