January 16, 2002

Thorpe puts troubles behind him to focus on cricket


Graham Thorpe
Thorpe - a difficult time
Photo Reuters

Graham Thorpe is enthusiastically looking forward to returning to full-time cricket after putting his domestic troubles behind him.

Just a month ago there were doubts about the Surrey left-hander's participation in the one-day series in India and New Zealand, after he returned home from the Test tour of India before Christmas.

Although he was unable to prevent the breakdown of his marriage, he subsequently declared himself available to tour for the remainder of the winter. England have warmly welcomed his decision, which has also helped him move forward after an unhappy time.

"It's has been an unsettling period, but it's time to put things behind me and get back on with my job," said Thorpe. "It has to be that way. There's no other way of dealing with something like that in your life, you have to get over it and get back doing your job.

"I haven't played any cricket since I left Mohali, but getting my body back fit and ready for cricket is a way of getting myself back into it and enjoying the game again.

"There are difficult things which happen in your life and happen to all of us, but you have to move on and try to find something positive and hopefully in my cricket I can find that."

Now re-united with his teammates in the England fold, Thorpe can also turn his back on the media attention which accompanied his marital difficulties.

"Instead of being on a back page, I was on the front page for a week and it was an unsettling period of time, but there's not really much you can do about it.

"You can have as much support as you like from the outside world but it still comes down to you to deal with it, get over it and move on.

"I've been on two tours when my mind hasn't been completely focused on what's been going on on the cricket tour, but pretty much everything is sorted out at home and very little can be achieved by staying and it's a case now of throwing myself into my cricket."

Thorpe will play in tomorrow's practice match against the Bengal Cricket Association at the Kolkata Cricket and Football Club.

"I'm not going to say one way or the other how I'm going to come out of all this the other side," Thorpe cautioned. "All I can say is that right now I'm going to work as hard as I can on my game and play as well as I can for England.

"I've enjoyed playing cricket in the sub-continent. Up until last year, I hadn't really played a lot of cricket in this part of the world but I enjoyed Pakistan and Sri Lanka and now we've come back to India, I'm looking to enjoy it and have a good one-day series here."