Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2014 03:56 | By Agence France-Presse

Vaughan feels 'conned' by Trott exit

Former England captain Michael Vaughan felt deceived by Jonathan Trott's revelation last weekend that he left England's Ashes tour of Australia suffering from "burn out", he revealed on Monday.


Vaughan feels 'conned' by Trott exit

England batsman Jonathan Trott leaves the pitch during the Ashes Test match between England and Australia at the Gabba Cricket Ground in Brisbane on November 23, 2013 - by Patrick Hamilton

When Trott quit what turned out to be a 5-0 Ashes thrashing by Australia after twice falling cheaply to fast bowler Mitchell Johnson in the first Test in Brisbane, England officials said he was suffering from a "stress-related illness".

However, South Africa-born batsman Trott told Sky he'd been "burnt out" but was not depressed.

That prompted Vaughan, England captain from 2003-2008, to write in his column in Monday's Daily Telegraph: "I feel a little bit conned we were told Jonathan Trott's problems in Australia were a stress-related illness he had suffered for years.

"We were allowed to believe he was struggling with a serious mental health issue and treated him with sensitivity and sympathy. 

"He was obviously not in a great place but he was struggling for cricketing reasons and not mental, and there is a massive difference. 

"There is a danger we are starting to use stress-related illness and depression too quickly as tags for players under pressure," Vaughan, himself a former top-order batsman, added.

In his interview with Sky, Trott said he feared the public thinking he was a "nutcase", adding that he wasn't "crazy".

However, Vaughan wrote Trott had "completely disrespected anybody who has gone through depression and mental illness by using words such as 'nutcase' or 'crazy'. 

"We have seen other England cricketers suffer from depression," said Vaughan, whose former Test colleague Marcus Trescothick had his international career cut short by a stress-related illness. 

"I do not think Trott realises just how important an issue it is.

- 'Burnout an excuse' -

"When I hear players talking about burnout, I suspect it is an excuse. You never see players retiring from sport and talking about burnout when they are playing well."

Trott scored just 19 runs in two innings at Brisbane and struggled against the bowling of Johnson.

"What Trott will have to accept is that players in his own dressing room and in the opposition will look at him and think at the toughest of times he did a runner," said Vaughan.

"He admitted that the previous occasion he suffered burnout was in South Africa in 2009/10, the only other time he has faced top-quality fast bowling.

"He did not fight and got on a plane and went home. It is harsh but that is the reality."

However, Angus Porter, the chief executive of England's Professional Cricketers' Association, took issue with Vaughan's comments.

"I'm not a psychologist and I don't think Michael would claim to be an expert on mental health issues," Porter told AFP. "All cases are different.

"I think we should be supportive of people who speak out about these difficult issues. We wish Jonathan well and hope he makes a quick recovery."

Trott received further support from a mental health charity, with Mark Winstanley, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, saying: "Much of the debate around Jonathan Trott's departure is based on the assumption that there is a clear dividing line between people with mental health problems and everyone else, when the reality is much more complex.

"Whether or not Trott has a diagnosable mental health problem is beside the point, his mental health was clearly suffering at the time and if he hadn't taken action, he may well have gone on to develop more serious problems."

Warwickshire batsman Trott told Sky he wanted to regain his England place. 

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