England news April 26, 2011

Yardy close to first-class return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Yardy, the Sussex and England allrounder, is on course to resume his first-class career after a battle with depression, after taking part in his first county team training session on Monday.

Yardy withdrew from England's World Cup campaign before the quarter-final loss to Sri Lanka in Colombo, stating he needed to return home because "I felt that it was the only sensible option for me and I wanted to be honest about the reason behind that decision". His difficulties reflected the internal pressures and heavy travel inherent to international cricket in the 21st century, but some time at home with his family appears to have done plenty of good.

While it is thought too soon for Yardy to resume for Sussex in the match against Lancashire from Tuesday, it is now possible he may return to the team against Hampshire next week.

"He is going well. Every week he has practised more. The first time he came in once and last week he came in three times and this week he was in every day, including Saturday, and so he is getting close," Sussex coach Mark Robinson told the Daily Telegraph. "I think this week will be too early. Whether he is in a situation to play the week after we will just have to wait and see. At the moment he hasn't practised with the group but he is due to on Monday.

"We would love to have him back because he is a quality player and he gives character and backbone for a team that has that anyway but he has got experience and so we miss him, of course we do. But it is just like anybody being injured. You have to give them time to heal properly and what you don't want to do is rush them back so that they have a recurrence of the injury. It's the same for Yards.

"So we have just got to keep talking to him and keep giving him time. He is increasingly his workload and he is doing more and more as he feels stronger and more able to do it."

England's punishing schedule over the winter of 2010-11 has caused plenty of pause at the ECB, which has resolved to never again consent to an Ashes tour followed immediately by a World Cup. Opening batsman Alastair Cook has added heat to the issue by mentioning the possibility of a player strike if the problems of the international schedule are not properly addressed.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rod on April 27, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    Does anyone have some actual stats about how much time the various teams have spent away from home over the past year or so? Or even individual players?

  • Sanjay on April 26, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Oh yeah, all his problems were due to the hectic international calendar. Just how much Intl cricket has Yardy played, and how long was he away from home? If Yardy is suffering from depression then we'd like to know when he first suffered the symptoms. The implication that his condition is ** ALL ** due to the hectic international calendar in the 21st century carries no weight.

  • Matthew on April 26, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    "England's punishing schedule over the winter of 2010-11 has caused plenty of pause at the ECB, which has resolved to never again consent to an Ashes tour followed immediately by a World Cup."

    Surely the real problem is that there was a long and time-wasting series of ODIs and t20s after the Ashes Tests had finished. Take those games out and players would have had more than a month's rest - admittedly not as much as you might like, but better than the few days the players got, as a result of the last ODI being one or two days before the World Cup started.

    I think that the ECB's language is dangerous. They should instead not agree to future pointless ODI/t20 series after the Ashes proper.

  • S.rao on April 26, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Is it just me or are most English players mentally fragile??I mean I do sympthaise with him,but these guys are softer than marshmellows.The world is not full of blue skies and red roses.

  • Andrew on April 26, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Sign of the times.........

  • ankur on April 26, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    I think players outside the sub-continent are big softies mentally. Look at the pressure and travelling asian teams do and yeah they have families as well.

  • Michael on April 26, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Good on you Michael. You are a good 50 over and 20 over player. This is coming from an Aussie!

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