ENGLAND team director Andy Flower took a swipe at Australia yesterday after batsman Jonathan Trott quit the tourists’ Ashes squad and flew home due to a stress-related illness.
Flower insisted that derogatory comments from Australia’s David Warner had not contributed to Trott’s decision to abandon the series after just one match, but made plain his distaste at the remarks.
Escalating tensions between the sides characterised Australia’s 381-run victory in Brisbane, though Flower revealed the 32-year-old had fought a long battle against his condition.
“Jonathan has had his ups and downs through the month and it is not directly related to that,” he said, referring to Warner’s description of Trott’s first Test display as “poor” and “weak”.
“I would also say that I think players commenting about fellow professionals in the media is disrespectful. I think on this occasion he has got that horribly wrong.
“I think we set different standards to that and one of the reasons we don’t like commenting about opposition players is because we don’t know what is going on in their dressing room, we don’t know what is going on in their private lives.
“Trotty has been suffering from a stress-related condition for quite a while. He’s always managed it very successfully and been a brilliant international batsman and, we hope, will continue to be in the future. But he needs time away from this environment for a while.”
Warner admitted yesterday he may have crossed a line with his personal criticism of Trott, who he also accused of having “scared eyes”, after day three of the first Test but stopped short of apologising.
“I made those comments for a reason,” he said. “It is Ashes cricket. I probably went a little bit too far with the comments, but it’s cricket and now it’s in the back of their mind.”
Trott’s departure leaves England with a gap at No3 in the batting as they prepare for next week’s second Test in Adelaide. Flower said there were no plans to fly out a replacement so Joe Root or Ian Bell is expected to be promoted from the middle order, with Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance or Ben Stokes added to the team.
The South African-born player’s illness is the latest such episode to affect the England team in recent years.
Former Test opener Marcus Trescothick abandoned a 2005-06 tour to India and the 2006-07 Ashes trip Down Under because of his own stress-related illness.
Limited-overs all rounder Michael Yardy departed the 2011 World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in similar circumstances.