Monday, November 25, 2013

Ashes fatigue floored poor Jonathan Trott - but who in the England dressing-room is not suffering from it ?

Everyone will feel sad about Jonathan Trott's illness and wish him well for a speedy recovery. But you must wonder if  there been an Omert√† against speaking about Trotty's problems as there was for Trescothick ? Remember those absurd press conferences when we were supposed to believe that Marcus's problems were physical not mental - denial piled on denial. The ECB did not cover themselves in glory then. 

Has it only just emerged that Trott is suffering from a depression-related illness? That in itself raises questions about the quality of the medical assessments the players have. All too many cricketers have had mental health issues over the years as Trott's colleague in the Squad Jonny Bairstow knows, tragically, only too well. Perhaps Trott covered up his difficulties but from what I hear and have seen I doubt it. There has always been a touch of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviour about Trott at the crease. If I can see that from beyond the boundary surely the ECB wallahs could see it from close up ? 

The ECB's greedy and foolish decision to have back-to-back Ashes series is coming back to haunt them. England were truly awful in Brisbane. Having got Australia 132-6 in the host's first innings they then lost the plot so comprehensively that by halfway through the second day they were out of the game. The atmosphere in the dressing room must have been dreadful, nobody could do a bloody thing right, Trott was cowering in the corner and the Aussies pounced. After just four days of cricket there really does seem no way back for England whatever they may, with phoney bravado, say for public consumption. This summer the same players got very lucky and there were some fine match winning sessions from the likes of Broad and Ian Bell's late-flowering coming of age to carry them through to frankly not always deserved victories. I doubt that the Aussies will give them that chance again.

Jonathan Trott's tour, and perhaps his international career with it, is over. Meanwhile a group of demoralised players who give every sign of having Ashes fatigue trudge off to Adelaide knowing that only a win there will put them on track. A loss, with Perth to follow, could mean it's all over before Melbourne as it was for Freddie's lot in 2006/7. And though no doubt Giles Clarke and his accountants at the ECB will still be banking the dollars with glee England's cricketers will have gone from heroes to zero without even passing go. 

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