Sussex players bat for beleaguered captain Yardy

The Sussex Sharks have joined England captain Andrew Strauss in pledging their unequivocal support for stricken club captain Michael Yardy, who is currently battling depression.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Tue 29 Mar 2011, 12:42 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 6:34 PM

Yardy had to pull out of England’s World Cup campaign with his native country prospectively just three games away from global glory prior to their 10-wicket quarter-final defeat to Sri Lanka, citing the psychological affliction for his untimely departure.

The 30-year-old all-rounder’s predicament bears striking similarities to that of Marcus Trescothick, who had his own international career disrupted – and ended – by a stress-related illness.

However, Strauss and Yardy’s fellow England colleagues are “100 per cent behind” him and his county team-mates have also vowed to rally round their skipper as he bids to make a full recovery.

“He’s a man of very good integrity and, being the captain, a key member of our squad,” stand-in skipper Chris Nash said.

“Having known him for a long time, he’s a really good guy and we’re obviously very upset to see him return from the World Cup.

“Not knowing the exact details, I cannot really give too many comments as to his state at the moment.

“But, he’s a very good man and someone we hold very closely to our hearts. We all wish him every strength in his recovery.”

Depression, by its very nature, isn’t supposedly an easily discernable character trait to spot in close friends and colleagues and Nash admitted Yardy’s courageous admission had come as something of a shock.

“Everybody who knows Mike knows he’s a very strong character and it’s not something that you could readily associate with him, so to see him come home was a surprise to us,” he explained.

“His performances for England over the past year have been really good and he’s been a key member of the side.”

Nash also conceded the armband was very much only on loan until Yardy is completely prepared to play county cricket again.

“With Yards not being out here for this competition, I’m club captain for this tournament and obviously Yards will return to us as soon as he feels ready,” he added.

“It’s a temporary role at the moment. Yards is our club captain, as he has been for the past two years in a very good way.

“It’s always something I’ll be looking to do for this tournament and then hand back the reins to him.”

Spinner Monty Panesar wished the absent Yardy well too and hoped to see him make a quick return to competitive action soon.

“We don’t know what the exact reasons were at this stage, but hopefully it’s a speedy recovery for him and he gets back as soon as possible as I developed a very good relationship with him,” the ex Northamptonshire left-arm bowler, 28, said.

“It would be nice to get him back as soon as possible. He’s a fundamental part of the Sussex team and he gives a lot to the club as well.”

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