April 24, 2014

Anxiety and torment

Cricket - batting specifically - defines Jonathan Trott, which makes his continued suffering all the more painful
32

Most English cricketers find solace in the bar, or some such place. Only a few like Trott head for the nets
Most English cricketers find solace in the bar, or some such place. Only a few like Trott head for the nets © AFP

At the end of November last year, Martin Crowe wrote a fascinating piece on ESPNcricinfo that was titled "The masks we wear". His response to Jonathan Trott's sudden retreat from Brisbane explained how cricketers rarely reveal themselves, choosing instead to hide behind a mask that gives the opposition as little as possible from which to feed. Vulnerability is the sportsman's greatest enemy; insecurity is not far behind.

Few cricketers are all that they seem. Most suffer from self-doubt and many from self-pity. Great swathes of them feel misunderstood or misrepresented and just about all fear failure above everything. Cricket strips a man to the bone. The cruelty and the humiliation know no bounds. As television expands its intrusion to practice sessions, dressing rooms and flash interviews (those conducted pitchside with breathless players whose sweat still drips) so introspection takes over. The scrutiny is relentless and dangerous.

Crowe admitted that cancer had forced him to throw away the mask. It may have been that a life led behind the mask had encouraged the cancer, for it is a stressful place. Now free, and so much safer than a year ago, he has found fulfilment in a wonderful family and a burgeoning career as a writer about the game he had forgotten how to love. Cricket took Crowe to hell and back. His recovery is our fortune because now we read him with an ever-greater expectation and, even on those rare occasions we do not agree, we cannot help but be provoked.

The news that Trott is to move away from the game once more is alarming. It tells the truth about his illness, which can be explained in a number of ways but is essentially one of anxiety and torment. We thought - and by we, I mean table conversation in and around the game - that he was exhausted and exposed but we figured that rest and a long think about a more effective technique against fast bowling would bring him back. We were wrong. He is in trouble and may be lost to the game. Crowe suspected as much five months ago but kept his counsel. To a degree, Crowe had been there, which was how he knew.

In English terms, Trott is unusual. There is something of Geoff Boycott and Graham Gooch in his determination at the wicket and his slavery to preparation. Though both Boycott and Gooch had a touch more flamboyance about them than Trott, they had the same tendency towards introspection and certainly the same view on pragmatism. Thus, what hurts most is the inability to work something out and the forensic examination that comes with it. Example: for a time Boycott could not handle left-arm swing bowling and fell to the modest efforts of Ekky Solkar, the Indian. Example: in 1989 Gooch was utterly undone by Terry Alderman, a fine outswing bowler but no Malcolm Marshall - who Gooch played very well incidentally. Trott's bete noir was Mitchell Johnson. Or was it? Perhaps Trott is simply the victim of the demands he makes of himself.

Boycott fell foul of his own inner demons when he retreated from England colours for the three-year period from 1974 to 1977. His initial grumble was the appointment of Mike Denness as captain - rather than himself, one supposes - but things festered after Denness had gone, and it took a persuasive Tony Greig to finally make him reconsider. Gooch had a hangdog look about him during many periods of an international career that did not truly justify its talent until his later years. Captaincy brought Gooch the security he craved and from it came glorious Indian summers.

Trott's bete noir was Mitchell Johnson. Or was it? Perhaps Trott is simply the victim of the demands he makes of himself

Most English cricketers find solace in the bar, or some such place. Only a few head for the nets. The English play too much, there are too many of them playing and the professional system encourages them to cling on, beyond hope. Trott is one for the nets but this dedication served him less well than he knew. In fact, the insularity drove him under. It is an addiction and every bit as damaging as those that are better known. The game had grabbed him and would not let go. The suffering was there but not obviously evident. Because the mask was on.

Behind it is a man who, for the moment at least, has lost himself. Cricket - batting specifically - defines Trott, which makes his suffering all the more painful. Usually this happens after a player retires from the game and finds himself bereft of direction and support. Professional cricket wraps its arms around players and without it, many feel a chill wind.

Years ago, 23 of them I think, Tim Tremlett (father of Chris but a fine county cricketer in his own right and by then, the Hampshire coach) suggested to the club's committee that some of the players would benefit from a sports psychologist. This was greeted with suspicion, even a little disdain by former players who thought the current crop needed to toughen up. I was captain at the time and found the conversation excruciating. Partly, I felt it was my job to know the players better and guide them through the fields of insecurity. Partly, I was shocked at the lack of empathy from members of the committee. Unsurprisingly, Tremlett's suggestion was knocked back.

Not long after, I read Pat Barker's remarkable book Regeneration, one of a trilogy that examines the mental fallout from the First World War and, in particular, Siegfried Sassoon's challenge as a conscientious objector. Sassoon is attended by the psychiatrist Dr Rivers, whose main task is to return the disturbed soldiers to the front. The insanity of it all is both shocking and revealing. Of course, cricket is not war but mental health is a challenging enough issue at every level and not to be regarded lightly. These days, the Professional Cricketers Association in England does wonderful work in counselling players and helping them on their way in the life after cricket. For sure, Trott is receiving help.

I don't know him well but I know him a bit - the odd drink, dinner once, a lift in his car, shared charity events, many interviews, a few off-the-record chats on the pitch before a day's play. He is an unusual character, quirky you might say, immensely likeable, with a waspish sense of humour and a surprising perspective on the big picture. His sadness is everyone's sadness right now. Cricket misses the man and his Ken Barrington-like "thou shalt not pass" approach to the game.

Of course, cricketers are lucky a) to have been born with such a gift and b) to make a living from it. But that does not mean we should take them for granted. Instead, we should watch out for them, understanding that the game takes a heavy toll. These are the best years of a young person's life and they are soon gone. Let us hope that Trott finds some peace and, from it, some more time at the crease yet.

Mark Nicholas, the former Hampshire captain, presents the cricket on Channel 9 in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ivktyr on April 25, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    As someone who lives with a person who has mental health issues I can only sympathise with Trott. Mental health issues can come in many forms and be triggered by many things. For someone with a problem a situation that many of us would see as a normal part of life can trigger an anxiety attack another situation that we would see as quite stressful may not. Whatever Trott's problem is it appears to be a little more than just "burnout" he needs time to get over it or to come to terms with it without having to suffer ill advised comments from people who know nothing about it. Mark's article is well written and thoughtfully put (unlike some others). We don't know the extent of Trott's problem and we shouldn't speculate especially ill informed speculation from people who don't know what they are talking about.

  • IndianInnerEdge on April 27, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Thanks Ed for stripping away the fancy trimmings and showing the human behind all the hoopla....yes, the stars also have their moments of weaknesses, self doubts, the same is suffered by us average johnnies who day in and day out gotta slog for their daily $$ and in many cases no help at times we need this, causing burnouts.....regrettable that such people like trott, NZ's lou vincent, trescothik, to name a few re lost to the game, in 2008 Rahul dravid retired from india's captaincy saying "much of the joy had gone out of the job"- is too much media exposure to blame for this, and if so - do the journalists/magazines take some responsibility for this?

  • on April 26, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    Why is it that we look to rip off a cricketers "mask" only when he is down and out, thus adding to his woes? Why do we not psycho analyse somebody who is going through a great patch, say someone like Mitchell Johnson or Virat Kholi? While the piece was written with a lot of insight and even empathy maybe, my sympathy for Trott is a hesitant one. He had the infrastructure of the ECB and others to handle.

  • on April 25, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I struggle with the thought of feeling bad for Trott. Not because I'm mostly from the school that thinks, "toughen up guy, get it done". Rather my concern about him is that he seems unworthy of a fan's sensitivity. Case in point is from an incident from when Pak had that disastrous tour of Eng. Trott went out of his way to pick a fight with a Pakistani cricketer and came out of it puffing his chest out like he's god gift to cricket and it's okay to look down on others. But inside he's just extremely fragile, ditched his team, and in a way has probably lobbied for sympathies. Well pal, you get respect when you respect. Similarly, you get sympathies, when you offer them. I hope you move to a better place, but I also hope that you take the time to think about others' feelings too before you go around acting like a tough guy.

  • cloudmess on April 25, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    dunger.bob - I suppose the question is - after years of excelling against the world's best fast bowlers at no 3, why is Trott suddenly struggling against the likes of Chris Jordan?

  • on April 25, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    For some people its natural to take pressure and thrive under that. For some people take it too seriously and become a victim of one's own pressure from within.

  • dunger.bob on April 24, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    @jb633: Yeah, it's a tricky one for sure. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be judgemental about it, it's just that I was told he was hit twice by Chris Jordan in his comeback match. I guess I am a little more cynical about these things than is politically correct, but I would have been a lot more inclined to go with the sickness thing if he hadn't been towelled up by a fast bowler just hours before his relapse. .. Don't worry I fully expect to burn in hell for my thoughts on this, but then again, what if I'm even half right?

  • on April 24, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Firstly i would like to say that i admire Mark as a journalist and cricketer but Mark your final comments create the problem sadly you don't really understand the problem-- it is a medical issue and Trott has been handled very badly his support stakk have let him down his advisors have let him down While i felt Vaughn's comments were brutal they were correct cricketers are not just god given as your remarks regarding born with a gift not many are born with such a gift sport is not a photographic memory it is hard work and only the dedicated survive here lies the problem Great article cricket is not the problem Life is #enjoysmilelive

  • 12thUmpire on April 24, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    Trott could consider writing a sequel to Trescothick. Both works should be made a mandatory reading for every aspirant youngster before making debut!

  • PeerieTrow on April 24, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    Mark, this is a truly insightful and compassionate piece, worthy of MJB himself. That Trott is currently lost to the game is truly regrettable, and one can only hope he will recover sufficiently to grace the crease again, as grace it he most certainly did. Your analogy drawn against the experiences of Sassoon is well constructed, and unfortunately a large number of those who have followed him in the service of the Crown have suffered similarly. Thankfully these days it would appear there is a greater understanding and ability to acknowledge the effects of extreme stress, but we're far from total acceptance of the suffering of those so afflicted. You make a Hampshire member who shed tears 'alongside' you on the loss of Malcolm Marshall quite proud. Keep up the good work.

  • ivktyr on April 25, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    As someone who lives with a person who has mental health issues I can only sympathise with Trott. Mental health issues can come in many forms and be triggered by many things. For someone with a problem a situation that many of us would see as a normal part of life can trigger an anxiety attack another situation that we would see as quite stressful may not. Whatever Trott's problem is it appears to be a little more than just "burnout" he needs time to get over it or to come to terms with it without having to suffer ill advised comments from people who know nothing about it. Mark's article is well written and thoughtfully put (unlike some others). We don't know the extent of Trott's problem and we shouldn't speculate especially ill informed speculation from people who don't know what they are talking about.

  • IndianInnerEdge on April 27, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    Thanks Ed for stripping away the fancy trimmings and showing the human behind all the hoopla....yes, the stars also have their moments of weaknesses, self doubts, the same is suffered by us average johnnies who day in and day out gotta slog for their daily $$ and in many cases no help at times we need this, causing burnouts.....regrettable that such people like trott, NZ's lou vincent, trescothik, to name a few re lost to the game, in 2008 Rahul dravid retired from india's captaincy saying "much of the joy had gone out of the job"- is too much media exposure to blame for this, and if so - do the journalists/magazines take some responsibility for this?

  • on April 26, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    Why is it that we look to rip off a cricketers "mask" only when he is down and out, thus adding to his woes? Why do we not psycho analyse somebody who is going through a great patch, say someone like Mitchell Johnson or Virat Kholi? While the piece was written with a lot of insight and even empathy maybe, my sympathy for Trott is a hesitant one. He had the infrastructure of the ECB and others to handle.

  • on April 25, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I struggle with the thought of feeling bad for Trott. Not because I'm mostly from the school that thinks, "toughen up guy, get it done". Rather my concern about him is that he seems unworthy of a fan's sensitivity. Case in point is from an incident from when Pak had that disastrous tour of Eng. Trott went out of his way to pick a fight with a Pakistani cricketer and came out of it puffing his chest out like he's god gift to cricket and it's okay to look down on others. But inside he's just extremely fragile, ditched his team, and in a way has probably lobbied for sympathies. Well pal, you get respect when you respect. Similarly, you get sympathies, when you offer them. I hope you move to a better place, but I also hope that you take the time to think about others' feelings too before you go around acting like a tough guy.

  • cloudmess on April 25, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    dunger.bob - I suppose the question is - after years of excelling against the world's best fast bowlers at no 3, why is Trott suddenly struggling against the likes of Chris Jordan?

  • on April 25, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    For some people its natural to take pressure and thrive under that. For some people take it too seriously and become a victim of one's own pressure from within.

  • dunger.bob on April 24, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    @jb633: Yeah, it's a tricky one for sure. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be judgemental about it, it's just that I was told he was hit twice by Chris Jordan in his comeback match. I guess I am a little more cynical about these things than is politically correct, but I would have been a lot more inclined to go with the sickness thing if he hadn't been towelled up by a fast bowler just hours before his relapse. .. Don't worry I fully expect to burn in hell for my thoughts on this, but then again, what if I'm even half right?

  • on April 24, 2014, 20:38 GMT

    Firstly i would like to say that i admire Mark as a journalist and cricketer but Mark your final comments create the problem sadly you don't really understand the problem-- it is a medical issue and Trott has been handled very badly his support stakk have let him down his advisors have let him down While i felt Vaughn's comments were brutal they were correct cricketers are not just god given as your remarks regarding born with a gift not many are born with such a gift sport is not a photographic memory it is hard work and only the dedicated survive here lies the problem Great article cricket is not the problem Life is #enjoysmilelive

  • 12thUmpire on April 24, 2014, 19:49 GMT

    Trott could consider writing a sequel to Trescothick. Both works should be made a mandatory reading for every aspirant youngster before making debut!

  • PeerieTrow on April 24, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    Mark, this is a truly insightful and compassionate piece, worthy of MJB himself. That Trott is currently lost to the game is truly regrettable, and one can only hope he will recover sufficiently to grace the crease again, as grace it he most certainly did. Your analogy drawn against the experiences of Sassoon is well constructed, and unfortunately a large number of those who have followed him in the service of the Crown have suffered similarly. Thankfully these days it would appear there is a greater understanding and ability to acknowledge the effects of extreme stress, but we're far from total acceptance of the suffering of those so afflicted. You make a Hampshire member who shed tears 'alongside' you on the loss of Malcolm Marshall quite proud. Keep up the good work.

  • shillingsworth on April 24, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    @SHAHKY - Whoever you happen to play for, I'd suggest that the pressure is exactly the same, as is the fear of being stigmatised by a mental health problem. The fact that no subcontinent player has felt able to speak out would seem to me to be a cause for concern, not congratulations.

  • steve48 on April 24, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Best article I have read on Trott, very good. Probably even Trott doesn't know why this has happened to him, felt there was a little denial of deeper rooted issues in his post ashes interviews. Perhaps more work is needed behind the scenes on how the pursuit of success effects a players well-being, esp. batsmen, who can go through periods of failure even when feeling in form. Intensity needs an outlet, or it can eat you up and exhaust you. Maybe Trott felt a little found out by left arm pace and bounce, who knows? Hope eventually he works it out, so he can recover his equilibrium, whether playing cricket or not.

  • jb633 on April 24, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    @dunger.bob, I must admit I was very skeptical at first too (probably blinded by my anger at everything that England did on that tour of Aus). However, having had time to think it has changed my view. If you really think about it, just imagine what it must have taken for Trott to admit to the world he has mental health issues. He has been trying all his life to get where he was and earn the respect of the cricketing world. He had the respect of the cricketing world and he must have been at the lowest ebb imaginable to pack it in like he did. I agree that MJ bowling to him would have lowered his average but the issue is so much more complex than just that. Trott will have realised the reprecussions of his decison to leave that tour and he will have known it could be the end of everything he has wanted from the age of 5. Trott tried to come back, no Mitchell Johnson was present and no David Warner, however he could not handle it. That says to me it is the demons of his own mind. Get well

  • on April 24, 2014, 12:56 GMT

    Only someone who has suffered the same sort of anxieties and stresses - whether they are classified as mental illness or otherwise - can begin to appreciate the difficulties he has been facing.

    Unfortunately we live in a world where people in all trades are praised for their "toughness" and "ability to cope under pressure", not realising that those most vulnerable to succumbing to the sorts of issues faced by Marcus Trescothick and now (possibly) Jonathan Trott are usually the most gentle, mild-mannered and decent human beings one could expect to meet.

    One suspects that he only feels a sense of peace or accomplishment when succeeding by scoring a hundred etc. I hope he can learn to reach the same level of satisfaction and contentment without having to put so much pressure on himself to achieve difficult goals. I feel for the guy and wish him all the best.

  • nareshgb1 on April 24, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    Terry Alderman was simply outstanding in ENgland - even Marshall cannot match those numbers, so Gooch was up against it with Alderman. Gooch was just plain out of form at that time - happens to everyone.

  • VivGilchrist on April 24, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    @jw76, I hope blaming everything on Australia makes you feel better. Trott was cruising around as a successful batsman on the Test circuit, hits some bad form, and falls apart.

  • vatsap on April 24, 2014, 12:24 GMT

    Great article. I hope there is help for Trott. Most of us face stress at work and I think very few get the attention or help that is needed. In Trott's case it is more visible, hope the ECB helps him out. Trott was the perfect test batsman, a throwaway to a different era and even adapted well to the ODI but what matters right now is that he gets well.

  • on April 24, 2014, 12:20 GMT

    @ Benn Kempster - I think the point Mark is making is that there is too much mediocrity in the English and Welsh game - and following that inference through, cutting down on the amount of cricket played might (and I mean might) improve the talent pool appropriate for Tests.

  • Tom_Huelin on April 24, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Excellent article, Mark.

    Really hope Trott not only finds peace but also gets back to the game at some stage too. His health is the most important thing though.

    From an England perspective, I think they will really miss Trott. He's an experienced player and a rock at three. I'd like to see Compton given a chance in his place, let's see how that one pans out!

  • SHAHKY on April 24, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    Im nt sure i hv never heard anything like this ever happened to subcontinent players...who in more pressure than english players

  • Ravishankara on April 24, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    We need Trott back. Probably he should take up some sport or activity radically different but stimulates him psychologically.

  • flickspin on April 24, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    im no psychologist and i play in the park.

    but i have found just enjoying cricket has help, i used to beat myself because at training i was sometimes to full and sometimes to short and sometimes to full and short.

    or i would bowl really good at training all week and get to the match and bowl rubbish,

    i would find the same with my batting i would really well at training and get to the match and could hit the ball outside the circle.

    team mates often said you bowl and bat good at training but not in the matches.

    i see team mates go through the same thing, often they get out at training and it rattles them, and they end getting 5 more times losing thier cool ,swearing and cut thier net short.

    they dont end up enjoying thier cricket

    now at the end of cricket i can tell myself that i just had 3 hours of fun, regardless of how i went

    crickets meant to be fun

    i only play local cricket and i dont suffer the hyper stress and media intrusion of test match cricket.

  • on April 24, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    "The English play too much" Nonsense - there are too FEW English playing enough at a level that equates Test cricket; why would we (not I mind you) be maligning Pietersen's departure so much if there was an abundance of quality to select from?

  • Meety on April 24, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    @dunger.bob on (April 24, 2014, 6:23 GMT) - know where you are coming from. I have been split on the whole Trott thing. I look at it as both a sports issue & a humanity issue. The humanity side of it is - I am very sorry for his predicament & wish him all the best with his recovery. The sport side of it, I again would like to see him recover & continue to earn a crust out of the game, but believe that his International career is & should be finished.

  • jw76 on April 24, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    Cricket is not war? At international level it seems to be getting closer to war all the time, especially where Australia is concerned! To raise another question, is this really how we want it to be played?

  • Jammynem on April 24, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Jonathan Trott is ill. Clearly suffering from Anxiety in Australia and that has now spiralled into depression. He may not realise what is happening yet. I for one was not fooled for a minute by his 'come back' Sky interview. I saw a man who wanted to believe he was ok, telling himself he was and putting on the mask every sufferer of this horrible illness wears. But these things are not healed by just 'being away from the game', nor are they healed in a few months. It can take years to come to terms with, and you rarely loose it altogether, you have to learn to live with it. I feel for him, hes a very talented player and a strong man. He needs proper professional help. I know, I have been there, I still am....

  • EdwinD on April 24, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    At the time it seemed strange and a little ridiculous that Trott would field at 3rd man, and then run to the other end of the field when there was a single for a right/left handed combination...I wonder now how much of that avoidable running took out of him, both both a batting and mental perspective.

  • on April 24, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Excellent article!Also the perspective(from inside) of Martin Crowe in his article makes everyone to ponder that there is more to LIFE than just cricket.

  • dunger.bob on April 24, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    There seem to be two major schools of thought about Trott's curious case. Those who think his illness brought about his troubles with Johnson and those who think it was his inability to cope with Johnson that spawned his illness. I have no idea which theory is correct but I'm sure that if I knew for certain my feelings about his departure would be much better defined.

    As it is I sit on the fence. On one hand I feel that if the guy is genuinely sick and has been for some time then he deserves nothing but understanding and compassion. On the other hand, if he's simply had the wind put up him by a fast, hostile bowler then all this stuff that's happened has been a massive over reaction and the bloke is nothing but a prima donna.

    As I said though, I don't know for sure either way so will probably go on feeling somewhere in the middle about it all. .. either way, his departure is a loss for cricket and especially the besieged Poms. Let's hope he can get over it and back to his best.

  • on April 24, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    If anyone out there is listening, please tell Trott how good he is, how lucky he is. Ask him to go out on a solitary journey to India, Learn the techniques of meditation, understand Bhagwad Gita. I am pretty sure he will rebound strongly. Let him find his own course, I am pretty sure he is not a quitter as we all think him to be. Inner demons affect everyone, the greater the stage the greater the intensity with which they rebound on Mankind. But let Trott be told that he isn't alone. He is neither a coward as he is being made out to be, nor is he a weakling. A person who represents a nation in Test Cricket has good character and routine. Let him sort it out. Come on Trott. After a defeat physical or mental lies a great victory, Never give up. We all love you Man!!

  • Katey on April 24, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Good article, sympathetic without being mawkish. Thanks, Mark. It brings to mind the novel "1984" and the horrible Room 101, where you met your greatest fear. That is, the torment didn't come from someone else, but from inside yourself. Depression is a trip to hell, not some outside hell imposed on you as a judgement, but a hell that comes out of the corners of your own mind and takes over everything you once loved and enjoyed, and which cannot be escaped. Those of us who have been there know it isn't just a case of toughening up and not being such a wimp. All the best to Trott. He'll come through. And he'll be strong in quite a different way once he does.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 24, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    Playing Sports require extremely powerful mind and if you lose that mind power due to some environment then your career is over. it's extremely hard to perform under pressure after that. Trot was special player and it's unfortunate that his career is over due to mental sickness.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 24, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    Playing Sports require extremely powerful mind and if you lose that mind power due to some environment then your career is over. it's extremely hard to perform under pressure after that. Trot was special player and it's unfortunate that his career is over due to mental sickness.

  • Katey on April 24, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    Good article, sympathetic without being mawkish. Thanks, Mark. It brings to mind the novel "1984" and the horrible Room 101, where you met your greatest fear. That is, the torment didn't come from someone else, but from inside yourself. Depression is a trip to hell, not some outside hell imposed on you as a judgement, but a hell that comes out of the corners of your own mind and takes over everything you once loved and enjoyed, and which cannot be escaped. Those of us who have been there know it isn't just a case of toughening up and not being such a wimp. All the best to Trott. He'll come through. And he'll be strong in quite a different way once he does.

  • on April 24, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    If anyone out there is listening, please tell Trott how good he is, how lucky he is. Ask him to go out on a solitary journey to India, Learn the techniques of meditation, understand Bhagwad Gita. I am pretty sure he will rebound strongly. Let him find his own course, I am pretty sure he is not a quitter as we all think him to be. Inner demons affect everyone, the greater the stage the greater the intensity with which they rebound on Mankind. But let Trott be told that he isn't alone. He is neither a coward as he is being made out to be, nor is he a weakling. A person who represents a nation in Test Cricket has good character and routine. Let him sort it out. Come on Trott. After a defeat physical or mental lies a great victory, Never give up. We all love you Man!!

  • dunger.bob on April 24, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    There seem to be two major schools of thought about Trott's curious case. Those who think his illness brought about his troubles with Johnson and those who think it was his inability to cope with Johnson that spawned his illness. I have no idea which theory is correct but I'm sure that if I knew for certain my feelings about his departure would be much better defined.

    As it is I sit on the fence. On one hand I feel that if the guy is genuinely sick and has been for some time then he deserves nothing but understanding and compassion. On the other hand, if he's simply had the wind put up him by a fast, hostile bowler then all this stuff that's happened has been a massive over reaction and the bloke is nothing but a prima donna.

    As I said though, I don't know for sure either way so will probably go on feeling somewhere in the middle about it all. .. either way, his departure is a loss for cricket and especially the besieged Poms. Let's hope he can get over it and back to his best.

  • on April 24, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Excellent article!Also the perspective(from inside) of Martin Crowe in his article makes everyone to ponder that there is more to LIFE than just cricket.

  • EdwinD on April 24, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    At the time it seemed strange and a little ridiculous that Trott would field at 3rd man, and then run to the other end of the field when there was a single for a right/left handed combination...I wonder now how much of that avoidable running took out of him, both both a batting and mental perspective.

  • Jammynem on April 24, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Jonathan Trott is ill. Clearly suffering from Anxiety in Australia and that has now spiralled into depression. He may not realise what is happening yet. I for one was not fooled for a minute by his 'come back' Sky interview. I saw a man who wanted to believe he was ok, telling himself he was and putting on the mask every sufferer of this horrible illness wears. But these things are not healed by just 'being away from the game', nor are they healed in a few months. It can take years to come to terms with, and you rarely loose it altogether, you have to learn to live with it. I feel for him, hes a very talented player and a strong man. He needs proper professional help. I know, I have been there, I still am....

  • jw76 on April 24, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    Cricket is not war? At international level it seems to be getting closer to war all the time, especially where Australia is concerned! To raise another question, is this really how we want it to be played?

  • Meety on April 24, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    @dunger.bob on (April 24, 2014, 6:23 GMT) - know where you are coming from. I have been split on the whole Trott thing. I look at it as both a sports issue & a humanity issue. The humanity side of it is - I am very sorry for his predicament & wish him all the best with his recovery. The sport side of it, I again would like to see him recover & continue to earn a crust out of the game, but believe that his International career is & should be finished.

  • on April 24, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    "The English play too much" Nonsense - there are too FEW English playing enough at a level that equates Test cricket; why would we (not I mind you) be maligning Pietersen's departure so much if there was an abundance of quality to select from?