03 April, 2011

Depression: maturity appears to be reaching top level sport after England cricketer sent home from World Cup:

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TOUGH TIMES:   Michael Yardy sent home from World Cup on March 24th
Issues such as depress - ive illness are one of the great taboos still left in modern society; as it's one area viewed with considerable scorn. Society's general attitude to said illness is "Cop on and get on with it." However, the English Cricket Board (ECB) sent all-rounder Michael Yardy home from the recent Cricket World Cup in India due to his psychological problems. The fact that English cricket's governing body did not attempt to cover up the 'situation' is a move which needs to be welcomed.
BUFFOON:   Boycott
English cricket is embarking upon what will be another confused and lengthy bout of soul-searching after Michael Yardy became the second high-profile player in five years to abandon a tour because he was suffering from  depression.
First came Michael Trescothick's crippling "black wings" of depression, which revealed themselves in anxiety attacks and which he suggested arose from homesickness, exhaustion and guilt at being away from home.
ECB's actions must be welcomed
Now Yardy has pulled out of England's World Cup squad shortly before the quarter-final against Sri Lanka in Colombo that, had he been selected, would have ranked as one of the greatest occasions of his career. Yardy flew back to Heathrow on Thursday March 24th with the exact causes of his depression unexplained, apart from an indication in an ECB statement that he would receive specialist advice to help overcome an illness that he "had been managing for a prolonged period of time."
There will be some who put Yardy's withdrawal from England's World Cup campaign down to a recognition of his own cricketing inadequacies – Geoffrey Boycott made such a careless connection and caused outrage in the process – but that did not capture the prevailing mood as English cricket, administrators and players once again found themselves discussing the game's propensity to expose, at best, and cause, at worst, tendencies towards depressive illness.
I, for one welcome the attitude of cricket (unlike many other major sports) in acknowledging and adequately dealing with an illness (yes: illness) which is often "brushed under the carpet" at best, or mocked, at worst.

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