ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
World Cup 2011
Yardy withdrawn from World Cup
Andrew Miller and Sidharth Monga
March 24, 2011
Michael Yardy, the England allrounder, has been withdrawn from England's World Cup squad after suffering from depression. He returned to the UK ahead of England's quarter-final against Sri Lanka in Colombo on March 26.
"Leaving at this stage of a World Cup campaign was a very difficult decision to make but I felt that it was the only sensible option for me and I wanted to be honest about the reason behind that decision," Yardy said. " I would like to wish the squad all the very best ahead of the game on Saturday. I would appreciate some privacy over the coming weeks while I spend time with family and close friends ahead of what I hope will be a successful season for Sussex."
Yardy was an integral member of the team that won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean last May, but has struggled to have the same impact in the 50-over format. He represented England in three games this World Cup, picking up two wickets but proved expensive. With the bat in the lower order, he managed 19 runs in three innings.
Hugh Morris, the managing director of England Cricket, said: "I would like to offer my full support to Michael on behalf of everyone involved with the England team and the ECB. Michael has been an integral part of the England set-up in recent years and while he will be missed in the knock out stages of the World Cup, our priority now is to ensure that he returns home to his family and is able to spend time recovering with a strong support network around him. "
Yardy also received full support from his team-mates after they were informed of his decision to leave the tournament. "I think players should be open about that because it can be a big problem," Ravi Bopara said. "It's not a minor issue, not something you can look upon lightly. It can affect someone quite badly and affect their life so you should be open about it. I'm glad that he's been open about it. Whether it's made it easier or not I don't know. I haven't suffered from depression, or not yet anyway, so that's all I can say."
Bopara added that he'd noticed Yardy didn't quite seem himself around the team in recent days but had no inkling of the seriousness of the situation. "I've noticed over the last couple of days that he wasn't 100% Michael Yardy," he said. "Usually he's quite bubbly, quite a busy character, but he wasn't busy the last couple of days so I did notice something, but I didn't notice that it was to the extent that he needed to go home."
The decision to withdraw Yardy was taken in consultation with the England squad's medical team, but he has the full backing of his county. "Sussex are very proud of Michael Yardy and very supportive of his decision," said Sussex's professional cricket manager, Mark Robinson, "not only to come home but also to be prepared to go public with the reasons.
"He's always been a person admired for his utmost honesty and integrity, and his courage in dealing with this issue emphasises that. As captain and one of our leading players, we'll give him all the time and all the support necessary so that he can continue to lead this club forward."
It is not the first time an England player has left a tour early after suffering from a depressive illness. In 2006, Marcus Trescothick broke down ahead of a Test series in India, and suffered a relapse later that same year in Australia. In his subsequent autobiography, he wrote of the "black wings of depression" that would threaten to overwhelm him, and added: "I would not have wished this illness on my worst enemy."
Adil Rashid, the Yorkshire legspinner, has been called up as a replacement for Yardy and will make the long journey from the Caribbean where he is part of the England Lions tour to Colombo. He is due to arrive on Saturday morning with a view to acclimatising in time for the semi-final should England beat Sri Lanka. Rashid last played for England in a one-day international against South Africa, at Centurion, in November 2009.
"We have been closely monitoring Adil's progress over the winter," Geoff Miller, the national selector, said. "He will have benefited from being part of the Lions tour in the Caribbean and his recent experience in Australia where he played a key role in helping the Redbacks win the Big Bash T20 competition. His inclusion will provide us with a different option in our bowling attack."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; Andrew Miller is UK EditorFeeds: Sidharth Monga
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.