Tour flop Jonathan Trott quits international game

England's captain Alastair Cook leads his team off the field after losing the third Test to the West Indies in Bridgetow. Picture: AP

England's captain Alastair Cook leads his team off the field after losing the third Test to the West Indies in Bridgetow. Picture: AP

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England batsman Jonathan Trott has announced his retirement from international cricket.

Trott was recalled for the tour of the West Indies for the first time since leaving England’s 2013-14 Ashes tour due to a situational anxiety condition, but has found runs tough to come by.

His six innings brought three ducks, two more single-figure scores and just a solitary half-century and led him to conclude his game is not “at the level you need to be at to play for 
England”.

Trott played 52 Tests, 68 ODIs and seven T20s in his eight-year international career. He made nine Test centuries, starting with one against Australia on his debut in the 2009 Ashes, and 
averaged 44.08.

That record led England to recall him once some strong form domestically and for the second-string England Lions side suggested he had overcome his anxiety problems. But after he failed to flourish in a new role as captain Alastair Cook’s opening partner, Trott himself acknowledged the decision had not been successful.

“This was a tough decision to make, but I don’t feel my game is at the level you need to be at to play for England,” he said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“I was honoured to be given the opportunity to come back and play international cricket again and I’m disappointed it didn’t work out.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me and given me the chance to represent England and to thank the supporters for all their backing over the years. I also want to wish the lads all the very best for what will be an 
incredibly exciting summer.”

England host New Zealand and then Australia this summer, while Trott will return to county action with Warwickshire.

Cook paid tribute to his long-time colleague in the top order, a constant as England won back-to-back Ashes series, won a Test series in India for the first time in 27 years and reached the top of the world Test rankings.

Cook said: “It has been an absolute honour to play alongside Trotty in every one of his 52 Tests.

“He can be incredibly proud of all he has achieved in his career and it is no coincidence that his time in international cricket has seen the team achieve some very special things, often with Trotty at the heart of our success on and off the field.

“To come back from events around the Brisbane Test in 2013 and earn a place back in this side is testament to his character and spirit and although things didn’t work out as we all hoped on this current tour, he gave absolutely everything to the Three Lions every time he wore the cap.”

Meanwhile, Cook believes incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves wrote the West Indies a powerful team talk when he declared them “mediocre” on the eve of England’s Caribbean tour. England drew the Wisden Trophy series 1-1 after slipping to a five-wicket defeat late on the third day in the final Test in Barbados.

It was a compelling match, which swung in the hosts’ favour on the second evening as England lurched to 39-5 in 21 manic overs. They were dismissed on Sunday morning for 123, leaving a 192-run target that was knocked off by Darren Bravo (82) and Jermaine Blackwood (47no).

The scenes of West Indian celebrations will not have gone down well with Graves, who starts work as Giles Clarke’s successor later this month, and warned Cook’s team weeks ago there would be an inquiry should they not win the series.

Asked about the effect those words had, Cook said: “A comment’s a comment, it’s his right as chairman to say what he wants, but it’s never ideal against an opposition you’re about to play.

“It gives everyone else a team talk, we know that.

“But we can’t control anything about that. So, as the players, we get on with it. If we’d played to our potential and taken our opportunities, it would have been irrelevant.

“Every series we play we try to win so, of course, it’s a failure in that way. You can talk the talk, but we need to deliver in the middle. For the majority of the series we did a lot of good stuff but, when the pressure came on in the third innings, we didn’t bat very well.”

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