England Cricketer Yardy Leaves Team Because of Depression

Michael Yardy of England
Michael Yardy of England in action during an England Training Session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on March 10, 2011 in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photographer: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

All-rounder Michael Yardy left England’s World Cup squad because he’s suffering from depression, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

Yardy, 30, will immediately return home after consulting with the squad’s medical team. England faces Sri Lanka in the quarterfinals in two days.

“Leaving at this stage of a World Cup campaign was a very difficult decision to make but I felt that it was the only sensible option for me and I wanted to be honest about the reason behind the decision,” Yardy said in a statement on the England board’s website.

The England board said Yardy was going home “to receive the best possible advice and support as he seeks to overcome an illness he has been managing for a prolonged period of time.”

“Michael has been an integral part of the England set-up in recent years and while he will be missed in the knockout stages of the World Cup, our priority now is to ensure that he returns home to his family and is able to spend time recovering with a strong support network around him,” Hugh Morris, England cricket’s managing director, said.

Yardy played in three of England’s six matches at the World Cup, taking two wickets and scoring 19 runs. He was replaced by leg-spinner Adil Rashid, the England board said.

Mark Robinson, manager of Yardy’s county team Sussex, said the club was “very supportive” of the player’s decision not only to return home also for going public with the reason.

“He’s always been a person admired for his utmost honesty and integrity, and his courage in dealing with this issue emphasizes that,” Robinson said in a statement. “As captain and one of our leading players, we’ll give him all the time and all the support necessary so that he can continue to lead this club forward.”

Yardy isn’t the first England cricketer to battle the illness. Former opener Marcus Trescothick had to retire from international play because of depression.

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