The Ashes 2013-14

Fun turns to fear for Jonathan Trott

A joyous debut century is now a world away for Jonathan Trott as the complexities of international cricket catch up with him

George Dobell

November 25, 2013

Comments: 117 | Text size: A | A
Trott had been suffering for some time

A couple of weeks after Jonathan Trott's Test debut, he remarked that the experience of playing in the game, even before his match-defining century, had been "the most fun" he had ever had.

But somewhere in the intervening years the fun has disappeared. Instead of fun, there is fear. Instead of joy there is anxiety. It was telling that Alastair Cook spoke of the Ashes as being like "a war". No one enjoys wars.

Trott might seem, at first glance anyway, an unlikely candidate for a stress-related illness. He took to international cricket with apparent ease. Having scored that century at The Oval against an attack similar to that which he came up against in Brisbane over the last few days, Mitchell Johnson and all, he moved to the upper echelons of the world rankings in both ODI and Test cricket and made a habit of producing nerveless innings when they were most required. It all looked as if it came so easily.

But stress does not discriminate. Perhaps you can care too much. Perhaps, if you try too hard, you are more likely to fail. Perhaps a period of success can build not just confidence, but expectation and pressure.

Cricket means a great deal to Trott. With a cricket coach for a father and a cricket player (Kenny Jackson) as a big brother, he was steeped in the game from the start. It seemed natural when he breezed through the age group teams in South Africa and moved to England to pursue his career full time.

He flourished. With nothing to lose, he made a habit of producing match-turning contributions and seemed to have the perfect temperament. As he explained, when he was batting well, he hardly thought at all. He just played each ball on its merits and had the hunger to do so all day. He made a century on debut in 2003 and soon became a fixture in a strong Warwickshire side.

But then came the first of the serious setbacks. In the summer of 2007 he lost form so completely that he barely managed 20 and, at times, looked unrecognisable from the Jacques Kallis-like batsman who had previously dominated. It is not easy for a perfectionist to accept failure.

He reacted the only way he knew how. He worked harder; he pushed himself more. He could be seen in the nets as early as 7am on the day of games.

Jonathan Trott career timeline

  • August 2009 - A glorious international debut with a match-winning century at The Oval as England regain the Ashes
  • May 2010 - Trott's appetite for occupying the crease evident in eight-hour 226 against Bangladesh at Lord's
  • December 2010 - Following his Brisbane epic, Trott makes an unbeaten 168 in Melbourne that helps England's to a crushing innings win and retaining the Ashes
  • March 2012 - England are in the midst of a crisis batting against spin but Trott shows the way with 112 in Galle
  • December 2012 - Scores a second-innings 143 in Nagpur that secures England a draw and an historic series victory in India
  • August 2013 - 16 runs in two innings in the 3rd Ashes Test at Old Trafford confirms a lean run of form
  • November 2013 - Bounced out twice by Mitchell Johnson in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba for just 10 and 9

And the more he pushed, the more he failed. Even on nights away from the game, he could be seen practising his trigger movements and back lift in the glass of restaurant windows, in bathroom mirrors on holiday, in clothes shops and coffee bars. He talked of the absurdity of a game in which, when in the best of form, you can play and edge a ball to slip but in the worst of form you can miss and survive. He talked of "worms in his head" that were eating away at his confidence and forcing him to overthink something that had once been so natural. He talked about giving up the game and pursuing a different career.

But he found a way through all that. Partly through the support of Ashley Giles and partly through the support of his wife, he found the stability to deal with the inevitable setbacks that occur in a career as a batsman. He learned to accept that, as long as he had prepared well, he had to accept the occasional failure.

To prevent those intrusive thoughts entering his head, he settled upon a formula. He would make that famous trench in the pitch between deliveries; he would fiddle with his pads; bend his knees; check his boots and gloves. Anything it took to ensure there was no time to let those thoughts creep back.

He was mocked by some. They found him compulsive and robotic, missing the point that it was a tactic to deal with an excess of emotion. It was a tactic to avoid the dark thoughts that have always circulated but have only now settled upon him.

It worked, too. He produced some magnificent innings for England. Innings that shaped matches and series; innings that earned him respect from opponents around the world. Great innings.

"You should talk to me after I've failed," he said, one day after making a century. "There's no point talking to me after I've got runs. You won't learn anything that way. I don't think anything when I'm scoring runs. It's when I'm not scoring them that you could learn something."

There were some setbacks along the way. They were always away from home; nearly always towards the end of a long tour. Without his normal routine and without the comforting influence of family and home, there was no one to tell him it was one bad innings or one bad game; no one to limit the scale of the failure or remind him of the perspective. No one to tell him to turn off the TV and get some sleep. The England management knew this and managed it well. While there are times the England camp can be somewhat cliquey, there is no more anyone could have done - players and support staff - to be supportive and sympathetic in the last few days.

Why has the situation now peaked? The struggle against Mitchell Johnson in Brisbane may have been a catalyst but it is not the cause. It may have unmasked the problem, but it is not the underlying issue. It is more likely that this has been an accumulative issue which has been building and subsiding for many months. Maybe this Ashes series, coming so soon after a high-pressure tour to India, a Champions Trophy campaign that meant more to this England team than many realise and then back-to-back Ashes series have taken their toll.

Trott flies home from Ashes tour

When he should have been relaxing, ahead of this tour, he returned to the nets for extra sessions to ready himself for the challenge he knew lay around the corner. When he should have been sleeping, he was worrying. He simply needs down time. Time not to think about batting. Time not to think.

It would be simplistic to blame David Warner for this. But, in time, perhaps we should reflect on whether there is anything about the England set-up - its intensity and its relentless schedule - that contributes to this problem. The fact that Trott, Marcus Trescothick and Michael Yardy have all suffered a broadly similar issue within seven years is remarkably coincidental. Several others, including Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard, have struggled to up hold the pretence when all they wanted to do was stop.

Perhaps those of us in the media should reflect, too. Some of the comments following Trott's second innings were disproportionately harsh. They questioned not just Trott's ability and technique, but his bravery and his masculinity. There is always pressure on journalists to find the most memorable description and it often seems as if the Devil has the best lines. But we do need to remind ourselves that sports personalities - usually young people with their dreams and livelihoods at stake - are as fragile and flawed as the rest of us.

For a man of Trott's background - raised in a macho environment where fears and insecurities are to be denied - to ask for help is a major undertaking. There is a certain bravery in doing so. He knows some will mock him and accuse him of weakness and that will hurt him. But there's a certain selflessness in his actions, too. He could have battled on, living on reputation and not allowed anyone else an opportunity in his place. But he knew he wasn't in the mood to help the team as much as he would have liked. He knows there is no guarantee of a return to the side.

In time, Trott will come to realise he is a lucky man. Whatever happens in the rest of his career - and it would be disingenuous to pretend that this may not be the end of his international career - he has touched heights that few manage. He has played some great innings; he has won games for his country; he has been part of a team that reached No. 1 in the world in all formats and he has won the ICC Player of the Year award, arguably the highest accolade in cricket. He has achieved a great deal.

More importantly, he has a healthy, happy family who love and value him. In the weeks ahead, he will have time to spend with them and the "worms in his head" will gradually fade away. There will be regrets and there will be pain, but there will also be a realisation that he has handled a horrible situation as well as he could and that his blessings far outweigh his problems.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 28, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

I do not understand why Trott should take his (temporary) slump so hard , on himself. Every successful Batsman has gone thru this stage one time or the other. It is inevitable, part of the learning curve. You can not expect to maintain the high standard throughout. This has happened to almost every great batsman in every team. Think about it, Gail, Tendulkar, G.Smith, Jayawardene, Ponting, Boycott and many more. Lighten up Mr. Trott, you are one of the best. Come back soon.

Posted by sherishahmir on (November 28, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

Jonathan Trott is the best English batsman at the moment probably of same caliber of kevin Peterson. I wish him very best for the recovery and want to see him back in the national side at earliest.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

A very well written article, bringing out the human in sportsmen. Sometimes we take them for granted and choose to ignore the fact that they are as strong and weak as the rest of us. When we do that, the pressure piles up on them, but there is a limit to how much each one can take.

I would hate to be in the shoes of any international captain, for example. I see Michael Clarke having to fulfil countless roles - as a strategist, as a batsman, in press conferences, sponsorship obligations, etc. Where is the time to breathe properly? He's had to go through a hell of a lot when his side has gone through the deep slump. And what if his batting starts failing?

He may have been equipped mentally to combat these challenges of international cricket. But each person has his limit. And if Trott is a good batsman, I don't think it is fair to expect him to tackle the peripheral stuff attached to it in an equally efficient manner.

Posted by Sugath on (November 27, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Perfection and failure are two sides of the same coin, when you pick up perfection simultaneously you pick up failure as well. The wise understand this and try to increase the sphere of perfection and reduce failure. Trott's problem is mind made and he must blame himself for taking the external perceptions too much to his mind. What he must understand is that you can exist only NOW and not in the past or future because past and future you make in the present. He must learn to make himself calm and that can be done effectively through breathing meditation. Breathing Meditation makes you very calm even under external attrition through outside perceptions. Aussies cannot make Trott miserable but only he himself because he is delving too deep into the perceptions. I really wish I can help him to practice breathing meditation that will give him the strength to get back to the team.

Posted by KaptainKookies on (November 27, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

This is a great article it complements Trott just like he has proved he deserves.I really hope that he reads this and feels the support from around the world that he deserves.

Posted by RamhanceRampersaud on (November 27, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

Cricketers are not immune to mental health issues. In America, it is widely known about the stress in the locker room with football players, who end up killing themselves. THE ASHES has grown into something more than it was intended to be. Our media and press has a big role to play in the contributing to this problem. and our experts, From Gower, Botham, Warne holding and everyone else that provided analysis of the game. The other culprits are the administrators, coaches, managers, psychologists, team meetings after team meetings and all the slow motion reviews creates a message in the subconsious that produces results like Trott stress illness. As profesional cricketers, I wonder when these men go on vacation, what they do on down tme, where are family members when things are going tough overseas. And most of all where is the team psychologist? This is a symptom that should have been diagnosed a long time before this series.

Posted by ashok16 on (November 26, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

It is good that Trott has made this decision. But I have a question: at one level we are saying that stress illnesses should be treated like any other ailment. If that was the case did Trott know he was suffering such an issue before this series? If he did, why did he not bring it up to his doctors and team management before the series and have them decide if he was fit to make this series or not. Why is this not any different than a fast bowler hiding a back injury till he gets selected and then breaking down in the first test? If Trott received his first diagnosis after the first test then this is a commendable decision.

Posted by tendlya on (November 26, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

Excellent Article. I feel for Trott and I am really, really rooting for him to make a comeback. He is one player that I always thought would end his career as one of the great number 3 test batsmen. I thought something was off seeing him bat in the first test and now, in hindsight, it makes sense. I am glad he has a very supportive family and everyone in ECB and his team are being very understanding as well. Good luck Trott!

Posted by iceman_7 on (November 26, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

What a well written and insightful article. The very best of luck to Jonathan Trott on his return to good health. No matter what his future holds he can be proud of all he has achieved in the game so far and if he does return it will be a better England side for it.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (November 26, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

Great article George. Best wishes to Trott, get well soon please.

Posted by mannan_ma on (November 26, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Well done George! well done Trott! George has shown sensitivity that other journalists usually lack. And Trott, has proved that the team is above personal aspirations. Trott could have so easily stayed back and tried to regain confidence and batting form. Team would have definitely accommodated him. However , in the process, the team would have most likely suffered. Trott has dared to attract ridicule on a personal level in exchange for greater team cause. Bravo Trott.

Posted by ofcourse on (November 26, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

Can we please leave him alone? This article does exactly what it says shouldn't be done!!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

Great article! This is the type of piece one should write about a guy who has given nothing but one hundred percent of himself to his team and Country. As a former cricketer and one from a cricketing family like Trott himself, i understand what it means to have high expectation of oneself and those who look up to you, and not live up to those expectations at times. Cricket is a brutal game, and 'her' fans can be cruel at times. I have scored ducks when in great form and fifties when completely out of touch. Failure is not easy for a man like Trott. A man who work so hard at his craft that at times he seems boring. Taking a break from the game is not a bad thing, (Rohan Kanhai did it against New Zealand in 1969 and still remained perhaps the greatest stroke maker the World has even seen). Stay away from the game, spend time with the family, clear your thoughts and come back stronger.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

Damn good article , spells out exactly what problems are faced not just on the field but of it too. its easy to sit back and crticise but very hard to actually take center stage and fight it out. Character is built not given to you in inheritance , Trott has shown some character in accepting his shortcomings and stepping down. One thing i am not clear on is why are so many people bidding farwell to him, he proved everyone wrong by starting his career late, its very unlikely that you do not expect him to make a come back. All the best trott hope you make it back soon. Cheers

Posted by headphonedelephants on (November 26, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

That 100 at Galle was scintillating! <3

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

There is always pressure on journalists to find the most memorable description and it often seems as if the Devil has the best lines. I don't agree with above lines after reading your article. Excellent work George !

Posted by py0alb on (November 26, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Batting is a nightmarishly difficult discipline, probably the most psychologically challenging of any discipline in any sport. The difference between success due to skill and success due to luck is indistinguishable, and failure is never more than a fraction of an inch away. It requires a great deal of thought to succeed, and yet it simultaneously requires that you not think at all.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

If something does not kills you, it just makes you stronger. Trotti should take this as a pinch of salt and fight heads on, after all GOD sends us to this world for fight. Come on trotti. Love from India

Posted by TSJ07 on (November 26, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Ever since I saw batting like our own Rahul Dravid 2-3 years ago I was his fan. Now that he is going through a difficult period I pray and hope that recovers very soon and regain his place in the team and form. Otherwise it might just be the biggest waste of such a huge talent but I hope that doesn't happen.

Posted by RichardsGreenidge on (November 26, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

A lot of thought must have gone into this article (it's balanced, well thought out and well researched). A really excellent article that added to my understanding of the player and the problem.

Posted by Samdanh on (November 26, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

Sad to see Trott leave now. Wish Trott a complete recovery and hope to see him in England team soon

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

Nice article. And i know how it feels when you are stressed. Be it stress in office or family or anything else, it is difficult to perform even the normal duties, let alone perform excellently. But things will change. He s taken a right decision by going back and spending some time with family and friends and relax. He s only 32, so i wish he comes back after some months or years of relaxation. ANd of course, God is great.

Posted by cloudmess on (November 26, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

I'm glad this article is getting some praise from the comments - George Dobell is becoming one of the best cricket writers around not only for his perceptive analysis, but also for the way in which he always rememberes that cricketers are people and not machines. I've been dismayed by some of the negative opinions I've read on Trott - that he's weak, a coward, always knew he was basket-case etc - written by people who probably have no idea what it takes to be a successful international sportsman.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

It still looks like a few people missed the match in Brisbane. Australia were excellent and England were, well as good as they could be against an irresistible force. One game does not make England rubbish overnight nor does it mean Australia are an instant world dominating team. They did really give England a hiding though and the bowlers were unplayable (thus the consecutive less than 200 scores by England). Best wishes to Trott, get well soon please.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (November 26, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

Lack of quality sleep has a huge role to play on the mind as well as body functions. Sachin has had a long history of not being able to sleep properly before any major match and this is caused by a state of hyper - excitement in the mind that refuses to allow the body to sleep. This is also a manifestation of intense stress. Stress is broadly caused because of emotional, mental and physical reasons. Emotional stress is about emotions (real life and virtual including those emanating from watching TV), mental stress is about long hard mental work like preparing for deadlines, exams, etc. Physical stress is about subjecting the body to more than it can take.

A lot of people are talking about all of this in articles and commenting as if it "happens to others and not to me". It happens to everybody, the magnitude varies - it's just most of us don't recognise it. All that is required is that we are more informed of the contributory factors and hence more understanding of the person.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (November 26, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

The best test and question that anybody needs to ask themselves when going through any situation pertaining especially to mental and emotional stress is : Can I sleep well at night? If we cannot sleep SOUNDLY for 7 hours, then there is definitely an mental / emotional issue which is troubling us that needs to be addressed. This need not necessarily be because of mental illness or depression but also sometimes because of circumstances (not being able to sleep before a major match, presentation, exam, etc) or lifestyle related issues where we do things in opposition to the circadian rhythm. All of these can be corrected with a little help ( establishing a daily routine, meditation, positive association, relaxation, purpose oriented work if one feels aimless, etc) and more often than not without medication. Nothing to worry.

Posted by concerned_cricketer on (November 26, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

The thin line that demarcates the effort needed to be put in by people to achieve their full potential and the point at which people need to stop trying and pull back and relax and take it easy is so thin that we can easily cross it ad do damage. It is not just in pursuing a sport that we come across this dilemma. I find this in bringing up children. Is it better to have achieved a little short of full potential in the interest of not overtrying and cause burnout and stress related problems? I believe so and it is something we should all give a thouught to while we enjoy the rest of the Ashes. Wish you a speedy recovery, Jonathan Trott, and I also wich that you never re-visit that frame of mind ever again.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

Excellent well balanced article, congrarulations

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

I am an Australian n I have the utmost respect for trott for the way he bats. He has been a rock for England coming in at 3 which is usually reserved for the team's best batter. I hope he recovers from his illness come back to the team n score runs

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

Excellent sympathetic article

Posted by jkaussie on (November 26, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

Best of luck Trotty, it's an insidious ailment and because it isn't as "visible" as others, it gets treated with disdain by way too many people. But, to those who use this as an opportunity to moan and lament about Australia's behaviour, you are completely missing the point. David Warner would have had no inkling of Trott's issues so his comments regarding the dismissals were an interpretation of how Trott played, not his character. Too many people have jumped on this as an excuse to bash the Australians. Well don't, because by doing so you take the focus away from an issue that needs great understanding and compassion.

Posted by Imad_K on (November 26, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Well said Robert. I can so relate to how Trott feels and wish him a speedy recovery. People have lived in this world accomplishing much much bigger things in their lives - where are they now? People need to realise there are bigger things in life than hitting a ball around. However, I know how Trott feels and the part in the article that refers to practising in restaurants, coffee shops etc - I thought only I did things like that. Thinking and overthinking can really make things worse - it's part of the game to take the smooth with the rough especially as a batsman - it can be a cruel game. As an aside - Trott really had the wrong approach to playing Johnson when he was bowling from over the wicket. With the angle of the ball going across the batsman and with his pace - Trott shouldn't be moving across to the off stump - just asking for trouble. Also, with one main guy whose pace is likely to cause an issue leave the short balls - eventually with no response he will tire.

Posted by Chir on (November 26, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

Brilliant Article George and now I am seeing this episode totally in different light, earlier I was sceptical about Trott leaving tour half way thorough.. However this highlight one fact that ECB haven't done anything this regards, especially when there is history of such incidents in past. May be putting player at ease, telling them that their place is secure even if they don't perform, etc....

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

The most sensitive topic written in a most beautiful way. hats off to george.

Posted by EagleDave111 on (November 26, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

To the posters stating that this seems to be an English Cricket problem (and to you to some extent George), this type of illness is nothing new.

In the past there have been players affected by mental issues of all nationalities - its just that we understand the problem more now. Cricket as a whole seems to attract more introspective and self analytical people and apparently more susceptible to this type of illness.

I don't believe for a second that the English set up contributed to JT's problems. There is a (much publicised) back rom staff providing supprt for the English players and I think its more likely that JT felt he could address his issues partly due to that support 0 and this does seem to be a long standing illness with him.

A good article and has generated some very good discussion / posts.

Posted by Pathiyal on (November 26, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

fantastic to read something like this now a days - esp. when it happens to be about a batsmen whom you love to watch esp. when in good form. true, that the demands of international cricket are sometimes too much to handle. cricket, most of the time looks like too much uncricketing like. but for Jonathan Trott, i believe there will be light at the end of the tunnel. he is too great a batsman to succumb to pressures. take rest, calm a bit and come back. i wish him all the best, for his come back.

Posted by Beertjie on (November 26, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Wonderfully sensitive article. Really needed to be said by a journalist. Best wishes from a fellow Capetonian.

Posted by Basingrad on (November 26, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

George, this is a world-class article and a credit to one of the most thoughtful and balanced journalists in sport.

Posted by Iceman29 on (November 26, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

@ Clyde: thats a valid point you mentioned there...but i think Eng and Aus are used to this type of sledging in the past, i doubt that it could be the reason...

Posted by ImonG on (November 26, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

After reading this article, I have all my sympathies for Jonathan Trott. He is a fine player havin a hard time, but I think ECB must look into this issue. From Trescothick, Yardy to Trott, this happening to English cricketers time & again is a concern. They should have a system to look into psychological fitness of players as well. Look international cricket can be tough job, un-compromising as well, with so much media scrutiny, but as a professional you are expected to handle this aspect, even more so if you are not a rookie. Every profession has pressure points, there must be mechanisms to cope with it, which I think England is missing. May be other teams are missing too, but at least their players r not breaking down and abandoning tours often. Till that happens, we can assume that they are managing some how. Look at the Indian team, hell their homes get pelted with stones in case of a big failure, that's serious pressure, but non of them have abandoned foreign tours in this manner.

Posted by PieterJAF on (November 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

Thank you George for a brilliant, well written article on Jonathan, as an internationally renowned and respected cricketer, but also as an emotionally and mentally drained human being. As a South African, I appreciate your empathy towards him and your seeking to understand his situation. It would have been easy to write ANOTHER expose on/of a troubled cricketer, but although you did not "hide-away" the facts, you treated the situation with ethical and professional journalism. I pray that Jonathan, with the help of his family and his friends, will overcome and heal "the worms in his head", and if, God willing, will return to the international arena a stronger cricketer - one who will again will "have fun" playing this great game.

Posted by charliebear on (November 26, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

Excellent, empathetic and insightful. Once again highlights the damaging schedule the English team has to endure. There is way too much cricket in all forms played by this lot. They can't possibly keep body, mind and spirit together under this sort of programming. Not only does it damage the consistency of the team, it takes it's human toll as well. I don't know enough about who insists on such schedules or how, but I'm sure it will be down to money. Clearly the big backroom staffs have to be paid for somehow. But surely less quantity will lead to greater quality in the long term. Honestly how many of our team would make a world XI right now? There has always been a suspicion that this side has overachieved. That their whole is greater than the sum of their parts. That is down to shrewd management and individual endeavour. Are the wheels about to come off?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 26, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

As I've watched Trott bat in the last year I noticed he wasn't quite up to his impressive best, but he has the strength to get through this and I'm in no doubt we'll see him back at 3 for England. The question of who replaces Trott is an interesting one. Root has long been the heir-extraordinaire of any of the top 6, but his lack of any kind of practise in Oz before the first test meant he was one of the casualties of the pitch and some superb long-hops from Johnson. Root is durable and can be moved anywhere, he'd take it on the chin too, and with the enterprising Ballance down at 6 England would be vastly superior.

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 26, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

A very sympathetic and insightful article from George who has obviously studied Jonathan Trott at close quarters. International cricket is incredibly stressful due to intense media exposure as well as the fans' often unreal expectations and the nature of cricket itself. Trott is spot on when he comments that you can be in really good form and still get out to an edge - the margins are so fine - and be out of form and survive. For someone who likes control, cricket is an impossible sport and the biggest lesson is that you can't control the "glorious uncertainties" of cricket, only prepare as well as you can and do your best for the side. In county cricket there is much more realism about the ups and downs of cricket. We have got to a point where they are not tolerated in International Cricket by fans and media alike. They heap pressure on players. For one false shot, one wide bowl players are hounded with almost malicious glee. If this carries on we will lose more good players.

Posted by Harikvpy on (November 26, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

And it's only a few weeks ago that Kumble, while delivering the MAK Pataudi lecture, highlighted the importance of developing the right kind of support structure for players going through such periods of low to be given a fair chance of recovery and possible reintegration with the team. His words seem so prophetic now.

The most difficult phase for someone going through depression is realizing oneself that you're suffering from it and seeking the appropriate recourse rather than trying to fight it all the time. Especially if you're the kind of person who loves a challenge or two, it'll be a while before you acknowledge the severity of the problem and seek help. I know as I myself went through such a period in my life.

No doubt Trott has taken a courageous decision, one that he would look back in a few years and be proud of. Wish him all the best.

And a big boo to Aussie cricketers for taking things too far. I hope they wake up to their follies.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

@Ameshisuto. it's refreshing to see real human beings and real fans of cricket such as you posting comments in here. well said sir.

Posted by soumyas on (November 26, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

Initially i was making fun of this incident, But now after reading couple of articles I'm feeling bad about Trott, I have been a fan of his batting since the beginning of his career, But I took this incident very lightly and started to make lame jokes, I'm Sorry for all that I have written, Cricket becomes poorer without Trott, Ii would like to see England bounce back and give a tough fight, I want to see cricket winning, not just one side. I hope he returns soon and make a comeback in grand style. All the best Mr. Trott, God bless you.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Although I have never represented my country at the highest level of anything I totally relate to what Jonathan Trott is experiencing right now. He should feel very proud of his achievements, his record is outstanding. From what I've read Jonathon has worked extremely hard on his game & facing his demons. He shouldn't feel guilty for taking a break & seeking the treatment needs.

Posted by jeaphy on (November 26, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Stress has nothing to do with fear or the effect of a bit of sledging...it is a condition that builds up incrementally over time and can happen in any walk of life. He has done the right thing to walk away but my fear is he may never be back at the top level.

Posted by Clyde on (November 26, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

I am an Australian. I am starting to wonder if Australia could have won if they had not sledged. Could they have won at cricket alone? In other words, sledging has robbed me and a lot of people who paid for expensive seats to a cricket match. I and they have not got their money's worth. It is disappointing and off-putting. I have listened and read a lot about this series. I think England is better-mannered, and if the series were played on polite terms I think England would have this as an advantage.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (November 26, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

Big blow for England.Now Bell will probably move up to no 3 in batting order.But that leaves no 5 and no 6 for Bairstow and Root which looks too brittle.Right time to give test cap to ballance in my opinion. He will rise to the top like Trott did 4 years ago.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Dobell's tribute, as well intended as it may be, also smacks of a eulogy. I don't think that this is the end of the road for Trott. He has still so much to offer for the game of cricket. He deserves this break. We look forward to seeing him soon at the crease.

Posted by ABLcric on (November 26, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

But why only English players? Cakeman84 comments makes sense. Or is it happening in other teams and remain undetected until they are thrown out of the team? Wish him well soon. Social support, friends, family members and modern medicine will help a lot.

Posted by tristen_kul on (November 26, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

Well, this mental stress illness is indeed similar to depressions. Let's put our heads back and hope that he will get over this patch of stress and come back to the cricketing field.

I'm just confused, what happened that made Jonny have a stress-attack? Bad performances are general. That's not a major problem.

Wish him luck

cheers, Tris

Posted by indiaindiyeah on (November 26, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

I disliked him for his consistency especially against my team, but oh boy, this article has made me emotional and I can't help but pray and send my wishes for his speedy return. After all, we all love cricket and he is one of the sons. Get well soon brother, wishes from India.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

Nice article.. but its not just the performance pressure that is makes such brilliant player stressed. Too many games and staying away from home for so long.. ICC and cricket boards have made the players a source and machines to ear money. RIP them..

Posted by Thegimp on (November 26, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

Every now and again I like going through the archives and watching the cricketers from the 80s, where they get a wicket and everyone saunters in and shakes the bowler's hand, no histionics, no running around like they are the second coming of the messiah, just a wry smile knowing that they have done their job. When batsmen, upon scoring 100, modestly tip their cap to the dressing room and half raise their bat to the crowd, no jumping around, kissing badges looking like they have just scored the winner in the World Cup Football Final. Ahhhhh the good old days.....

....and as for Trott, I too wonder whether it's something to do with the English set up, Country Cricket or the English press that makes the players so vulnerable, mind you, Ian Bell went through fire and came out the other end

Posted by valleypf on (November 26, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

couchpundit You seem to have very little understanding of depression. It can strike without warning during the best period of your life as readily as the worst. Nothing can be done to avoid it and it's rarely if ever due to circumstances.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

This article actually made me like Trott and sympathize with him. I hope he fights his demons and gets back in to the team soon.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

Me and my two boys are great fans of Trot always enjoyed his brand of cricket ... ...Most of the cricket teams around the world have not forgotten the culture of cricket the way its taught from childhood ...Unfortunately like everything else its changing ...the jingoism and the will to win and to get motivated hatred and celebration of someones failure is used as a tool .I am not blaming the Australian team for trots issues but ask yourself whether Mr warners comments would have had some effect ?Warner is not even half the player Trot is ...but its sad the Aus coach and media have ignited a fire among the australian fans which looks like spreading like a bush fire.... that the captain is warning a tailender to get ready for a fracture ...the chin music has become going for the throat ...well Cricket is a great leveler ...If England could manage to play to their potential ...I would expect to see a great series ...oh yes watch out for the real batting talent of Warner unfold .....

Posted by CricIndia208 on (November 26, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

Get well soon jonathon. Hope to see you playing in the fourth test.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

I think the author need to differentiate between mental illness versus stress illness. Trott is most likely the victim of mental illness, and it is still brave of him that he was part of the team and even braver when he decided to leave the team with honesty. Mental illness is a tricky subject and very few people know about it. There are many forms of mental illnesses and in many victims do not have any control...

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

I always regarded Jonathan Trott to be in the standards of Hashim Amla. However, I do not blame him for he has accepted the fact that he needs some break from international arena. The annoying thing is, after almost forgetting how to win, the australian opener Mr.David Warner has too much to say about a more established and proven batsman than him.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (November 26, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

You should adapt your artiicles for web reading. Last couple of articles including this one are way too long and repititive within themselves.

Posted by Cakeman84 on (November 26, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

An interesting article.

It gets me thinking, although i'm sure all international cricketers to an extent are vulnerable to this sort of problem, it seems particularly the case for English players. I'm thinking this is most likely the fact that England as the only major northern hemisphere team are touring every winter, usually to more than one country per winter. Compared to the other countries, most of them either tour England, take a County contract, or don't play so much cricket after the IPL and before september. Perhaps England need to try and squeeze in a winter off at some point?

Posted by Biggus on (November 26, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

International test matches are not the place to be when things are amiss personally. Some time away from the game will likely do wonders for him, as far away from cricket as possible. Some people are built for the rigors of international sport and for others the toll can be very high, great talent being no insurance against overload. He's a class act, but he's just had a gutful of the game for the moment. Best wishes.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Well written, Mr. Dobell, a great piece filled with compassion and self-reflection. Trott deserves credit for standing down selflessly, and for being open about his problem - this will help others with similar challenges in the future. Well done to the English for creating a team environment where members can be honest about where they stand and seek help in a timely fashion. All of the best JT, and Godspeed.

Posted by Ozzz.z on (November 26, 2013, 3:18 GMT)

Good luck and get well soon. As an Aussie I would love you back in England's side fully fit as I think beating England's very best means more than winning without the class of trott. (That's even if Australia win I mean) get well soon trotty.

Posted by SamRoy on (November 26, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

Nice article Dobell. And @Ameshisuto the best comment I have read in a long, long time on cricket. Outstanding and take a bow Sir.

Posted by ashlatchem on (November 26, 2013, 2:41 GMT)

This is an exceptional article. Absolutely first class. Nice work George!

@Ameshisuto Exceptional comment and how I am really starting to feel about the cricket. I turned the Gabba test match off as I am just done. My reasoning is thus - I watch the game for a contest between bat & ball not to hear grown up millionaires playing the game they are paid to play mouthing off at each other. But apparently this is what ppl like - they want to hear a tail-ender being told by the Oz captain he will break his arm? They want to hear Ali Cook describe 5 pleasant days on a field as akin to Normandy or the Viet-Cong? I don't at all. I want to see a sweet inswinger clatter into off. I want to see someone grind it out and earn some hard runs! What I see when I turn on the TV now just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps in all this their is a silver lining and I personally hope Trott's leaving will be a catalyst for a little more respect.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

I wish Jonathan Trott all the best in his recovery and I put money on his comeback. He has far too much talent not to, should he decide to of course. Either way, he has done his country proud. As a fan, if I had thepleasure of meeting him, I would say "get well soon mate and enjoy your time with the family, you've earned it"

Oh, I'd also like to applaud Mr Dobell for his wonderful article above...it is not often that a journalist is just down to earth and honest without the need for sensationalism or inference and I don't say that very often, so thank you sir!

Posted by featurewriter on (November 26, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

"The fact that Trott, Marcus Trescothick and Michael Yardy have all suffered a broadly similar issue within seven years is remarkably coincidental." Not really, George. More likely that it is an accurate reflection of the incidence of mental ill health within the community. From my experience, there's every chance the cricket was a protective mechanism for Trott - providing him with some respite from a clinically diagnosed illness. Either way, I wish him well. He's a talented cricketer, a good human being and a brave man. (As an Australian supporter, I'm disappointed we won't be able to see him do battle this summer.)

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

What an excellent article. Journalism of this quality is what keeps me coming back to this site.

I understand the necessary vagaries of the word stress, and this article trod a good line between insight and unnecessary intrusion. Unfortunately mental health is something in which generally ignorance spews loudly from those unaffected by it.

All I can say is am very sad regarding the loss of a very capable cricketer from this series who I will fondly remember irregardless of where his career goes from here.

Posted by KPWij on (November 26, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

The notion that cricket is just a "game" is false. It is a profession and like any other profession there are times when people within the workforce suffer from stress. The cause of the stress can be as a result of the work or something external to it. It is true that Trott was an incredibly dedicated and hard working cricketer who put an unimaginable effort at times into improving his trade. This may have caused the stress, but it may not be anything to do with cricket too... only Trot himself knows and I assume that is why he is taking some time off to solve these issues. I feel it is definitely a time for privacy and hope from the public that he recovers and we can see him enjoying himself in his job again....

Posted by Ishfaq333 on (November 26, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

RUBBISH... @Miraj Huq. This piece be a lovely bit of journalism.. I would shave my head if you could write anything even remotely comparable..

Posted by LukeTL on (November 26, 2013, 2:04 GMT)

I think everyone needs to listen to what Warner acttually said, he said "Trotts dissmissal was weak"not "trott was weak" , now everyone has weak dissmissals and commentators always talk about "weak dissmissals", I believe Warners comments have been take out of cotext and peanut gallery should just settle down.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

One feels sorry that a promising career should have had such a disappointing interruption and that a very good player may have come to the end of his international playing days under these circumstances. This whole episode underlines the level of stress that an international sportsman is subjected to on a regular basis, something that escapes the notice and understanding of outsiders. Hopefully, he will find the support he sorely needs from his family and well-wishers.

Posted by HarshalAcharya on (November 26, 2013, 1:58 GMT)

Too much of regimental training is never good in Cricket. England has gone a bit over board with the food and other preps and have not allowed the players to express themselves more freely resulting in mental fatigue in players.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

When he arrived at Edgbaston it was clear he was not just a quality player, but a thoroughly decent guy, honest and hard-working. In two consecutive seasons he was the highest scoring player in aT20 cricket season, scoring more than 1000 runs in that tournament in one season alone. With Ian Bell almost permanently away with England, he was for some time the best batsman Warwickshire had. It was therefore no surprise when he made such a seamless transition into the England side, and had so much success. However despite regularly being one of England's top run scorers, he has had to take an almost unceasing amount of criticism, much of it totally unwarranted from the press and many England cricket fans. With what has happened now you have to think that performing so consistently on the field but having to live with so much consistent criticism from off the field must have played its part in what has transpired.Very sad to see!

Posted by wapuser on (November 26, 2013, 1:50 GMT)

I don't think that stress is the only reason. It's a major contributor, don't get me wrong... but I get the feeling that something else is going on behind the scenes... I just hope he doesn't end up like Trescothik.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

It happens to England simply because they play too many test matches. Now tell me how pieterson and Cook (near) can play 100 test in 8 years even while missing a few?? England play 15 tests every year and the players are feeling it. Its not coincidence at all its burnout.

Posted by C.Gull on (November 26, 2013, 0:34 GMT)

Excellent article. I hope Trott goes and spends a few months well away from the game, walking in the countryside or something, and can clear his mind and come back strong.

Posted by Clyde on (November 26, 2013, 0:12 GMT)

Everybody needs time to think through events and pressures until they get beyond them and are free, every day. If the events and pressures come too thick and fast the processor will collapse. The answer is to wait until the thinking through is finished. If Test cricket is oppressive then it and not the processor but Test cricket that fails. This is in effect what has happened in Trott's case. The spectators don't get to watch a good player. Arguably, the same happened with Warner, who had to withdraw and get his act together, while the spectators had to wait. It happened with the homework offenders. The question is, is it a game played by talented and entertaining people, or is it about branding, culture and elite athletes? if batsmen are not allowed the space in which to think between deliveries and players are not allowed freedom from criticism away from the game and training, cricket is no longer a game and cricket loses. Keith Miller was right and still is. Cricket is not war.

Posted by jbgardener on (November 26, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

Go well and trust your judgement, Trotsky

Posted by haq33 on (November 25, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

Whatever the underlying cause, this is really really depressing for us cricket fans, as these situations seem to evolve in one direction only. I cannot think of ANY sportsperson who has announced such a thing AND succesfully beaten it to return to active duty. Folks have beaten cancer and returned as strong or better....

Posted by TheAlpacinoOfSydney on (November 25, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Trott is a class act and Im sure he will come back better and stronger. Warner has not achieved half of what Trott has.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Perhaps it's the current atmosphere around the England side that prompted Andrew Strauss's unexpected retirement last year.

Posted by RJHB on (November 25, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

In the hours that have passed since this was announced, I feel more and more sorry for the guy. With the amount of high pressure cricket played now, with packed international schedules, I can see this potentially happening to more and more players. Yes they are professionals, yes they are paid miles beyond what any normal person will ever make, but they aren't robots. With so little down time, which everyone needs no matter what you do, the mental disintegration over time must be extreme. Players careers may end up being much shorter, especially at the elite test cricket level. So maybe it's typical of administrators, they're cooking the golden goose!

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

A wonderfully thoughtful, well-informed and sensitive article. Thank you.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

Reading this headline last night was a huge set-back. Not that I am an English fan, in fact I was rooting for Australia, and I know that this is very unlikely for an Indian but for some reason I always believe in supporting the underdog. However, I regarded Trott as England's Rahul Dravid and I hope he soon get's back to International Cricket. This article has made me realize that there are worms in head that need cleaning too - I am no Trott, I just play in a small league but I take Cricket far too seriously. I think the line "And the more he pushed, the more he failed" sums up my current state as well.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

Very good analysis of how much pressure and stress sportsmen get proportionate to their celebrity status. Trot is class batsman, no doubt about it. He is mortal like us and the pressure and expectations he carried were too heavy.There is nothing wrong in the way he felt about his form and stress and planning to go back to basics and resolving them. That means he is very honest to himself and team and gave his position. I certainly don't think this is end of his career unless he himself and England cricket management think otherwise. It is not easy to cope this kind of expectation in public life

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

It was a sad day for cricket when Trescothick left it for similar reason. Another sad day for cricket to loose one more of its more talented sons. Get well soon Trotters!!!

Posted by Favell on (November 25, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

As an Aussie, I'm ashamed of the behavior of Warner and Clarke in particular; Siddle for his psychotic rant at the end of the match, but not so Johnson, who bowled as best he can, has fought demons of his own making and has seemingly overcome them, for now. If Warner's words have damaged Trott's fragile mental state, Warner is not entirely to blame, but it's not cricket, is it? What has happened to the gentleman's game? I've always thought it idiotic to stir up the opposition and motivate them to greater effort. England will come back hard from this and make some Aussies eat their corrosive words. I feared Trott more than any other England player in this Ashes but on paper, they still have the better side.There comes a time when healthy rivalry turns bitter, then turns fierce and turns hatred into "war." Let's just play the game and let bat and ball do the talking.

Posted by milepost on (November 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

It's not the first obsession to end less than ideally and won't be the last. Driven people aren't rare but they do come in varying degrees. There's no shame in wanting to excel, in working so hard others view it as almost crazy. Beckham, Wilkinson, Bradman, were people that spent countless hours going over the same things that they would be doing long before and long after their team mates were around. This sets a weird tone going into the next test match. On a cricketing level on the field, I expect that there will be no back down from either team and as spectators we don't want a watered down affair. Mental battles have been part of the game since its inception and are common to most professional sports. Let's be blunt, these aren't roles for the meek. But as human beings we must make the distinction clear that off the field we must care, we all want Trott to get back into it and dare I say it, even crack a blinding ton against us next time.

Posted by CodandChips on (November 25, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

I actually felt sad reading this article. A great player who averaged over 50 in ODI and test for most of his career. I can't see him playing for us again. His final stats wont reflect how good a player he was

Not too surprised at Trott being affected. It makes sense. He bats in that bubble and appears a very defensive person, especially when asked about his rituals. I really enjoyed his interview with Nasser before the previous ashes.

His batting changed this summer. Following that Headingly test where he and Compton got crucified for slow batting, and that hundred at the Ageas Bowl where he was scarcastically clapped, he lost his ability to grind an innings. Despite a superb CT people still criticised him. With his new batting style he hasnt been able to buy a run.

I can't believe the criticism he got in 2011WC from press and commentators. He was the only guy to consistently score runs but was being crucified for it. His ODI record is superior to many "greats" such as Mahela

Posted by GasPipe on (November 25, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

@Ameshisuto, take a bow, that is a beautifuly written, reflexive comment that really resonates with me. The ridculous machismo of professional sport is ridiculous, and frustrating that people partake in it with such relish. But in the end as you say, it's a game. A special game for sure, and one that we can learn a lot from, but just a game.

And to Mr. Dobell, a sensitive, understanding article that should give some of the negative commetators on this issue some perspective and understanding. Also, it was good to see your reflexivity on how the media have treated this issue. The way that they frame mental illness does need to change. Once again, well done and thank you.

Posted by stulch on (November 25, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

Outstanding article

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

Wonderful, thoughtful article !

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 19:17 GMT)

an article way too long and saying what all knows by now.

Posted by northumbriannomad on (November 25, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Excellent article. It's a pity that it isn't possible to reply directly to comments made here. On the other hand, perhaps it's just as well.

I'm tired of international cricket. I'm tired of the pathetic, lame, macho posturing on ALL sides. I'm tired of people of ALL nationalities who take refuge in chauvinism and use cricket as a vehicle for stereotyping others.

That a captain can go out there and promise to break someone's arm is just as ridiculous as a captain going out and saying that cricket is a "war". Cricket is not a war. A few years ago, Steve Waugh took the Australians to Gallipoli on their way to the Ashes in England. Gallipoli was a war. And it was bloody awful. Like all wars. Cricket is a game.

But cricket is a very special game. It's a game that reflects human life. It reflects the society in which it's played. Is this the society we want? Well, you might. I don't.

Posted by couchpundit on (November 25, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Stress...how much of it was caused by the coach flower and his working style? I can not buy into the notion somehow player of Trott's class will succumb to match pressure....it has to be more off the field issues and team culture, If it is not related to work place stress...then i hope trott sorts his personal issues out....but if this was caused by culture around English team...well Mr.flower will have lot to ponder.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (November 25, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Get well soon Jonathan, hope he doesn't end up like Marcus Trescothick, that would be loss for international cricket.

Posted by BarrelMan on (November 25, 2013, 18:49 GMT)

Good article, George. However, it was always obvious that Trott was an obsessive compulsive sort of person, with those rituals....and stresss can build for all sorts of reasons with people who need that degree of structure around the act of, say, taking guard. However, in earlier, less-enlightened days, there seems to have been unofficial recognition of the oddities of outstanding players and a realisation that they needed different treatment. A famous example is Phil mead of Hampshire, scorer of 154 (or so) centuries. He had a precise ritual about tapping his crease and tapping his cap before he was ready to receive a ball. The guys put up with these oddities and probably supported him because he was their major run-scorer. When Hutton was scoring his 364 at the Oval in 1938, on the Sunday rest day, Maurice Leyland (fellow-Yorkie) took him down to Brighton to get him to relax and de-stress. It is in the modern era when things went off the rails. E.g. Boycott on the 78/79 Ashes

Posted by neo-galactico on (November 25, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

It makes me wonder whether this could be the beginning of a slide for a very good English team. Trott has been a major cornerstone for the rise to the rankings, and to being arguably the best team on the planet during the 2010/11 season. Hopefully he fights his demons and wins. Eng are a poorer team without him certainly. Just goes to show that these supermen we admire are after all just ordinary men after all, with strengths and frailties like all of us.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Outstanding analysis. My hats off to George

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Dobell,such a touching piece.You made me believe there was nothing doubtful in Trott's departure.Hope he gets out of the trauma soon.I also feel sorry for Sachin who might have struggled hard to cope with mental fitness issues during such a long lasting career.After all sportspersons too are humanbeings.

Posted by Zulu17 on (November 25, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

I understand how painful it can be to play through mental issues and Trott has my deepest sympathy. Having said that I dont think its fair to put down other players and journalists who questioned his ability. That is part and parcel of the game which you come to accept when you start playing any International sport. To say that others should only shower you with accolades when you do well and remain quiet when you dont is just rubbish. If people feel they should have taken his past into consideration, it should have been made clear from Day 1 about his issues when he started playing international cricket. In India people hardly give any thought to mental issues someone would go through. It is considered a social stigma if you reveal the same to others. And given the pressures playing for Indian cricket team I cant imagine how many players would have suffered through this without sharing it with others.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 18:18 GMT)

The players affected by stress are mostly from England and Australia i.e Trescothic, Michael Yardy and now Jonathan Trott (some may argue he is from South Africa :P) Never happened to a player from India or Pakistan even it is considered almost as a religion in this region and winning/looses affects their whole life (not only their careers) WHY??

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

This is why I respect Sachin and Dravid's so much for going on for such a long time. Sachin should be commanded especially with 100 times(1B population of India) more pressure than any other cricketers. Another bunch of players under immense pressure is pakistani players. Hope we can all remember how Afridi was treated losing the recent ODI final against India..

Posted by alexkrish on (November 25, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

Nice article. Each profession comes with its own stress. People suffer stress in all kinds of jobs. This happens all the time.

If a player considers cricket as a "profession" and plays to earn money for living (or fame), sooner or later he or she is going to have to face the pressures, like in many other professions. This is going to affect their personal and team performance. So it is good to take a break and get better before continuing. I think English cricketers are blessed with top-class support from ECB in this field.

However, I do personally think the game should be played for fun and the love of the game (not for earning livelihood). If you do, then you will have no stress / pressures, because it is only a game. As soon as you start to feel the pressures, you know you are not enjoying the game anymore.

Posted by BigINDFan on (November 25, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

He just needs some time off, maybe play T20s to relax and play in a home series in Eng. Test cricket can be tough and Ashes is highly charged. Mitch Johnson is flying high right now but was a wreck a few years ago. Clarke is struggling, Watto is struggling but maybe not Haddin. KP struggled too for the wrong reasons. Trott should take time off and see what he wants to do. Talk to former greats including Strauss. Maybe talk to Dravid and Tendulkar or Kallis.

Good luck, Trott is a class player and hope he returns to cricket.

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Great article Mr. Dobell, you are one of my favourite cricket writers, but after reading this piece your respect has doubled. Many writers really need to learn, understand and appreciate this piece.. Bravo Sir!

Posted by   on (November 25, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

Very fair piece. Best of luck JT.

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