Friday, 25 March 2011

Cricket and Mental Health

I cannot always claim to agree with marjorie wallace of Sane but on this occaision I emphatically do. Report of the out burst by Boycott has caused disgust. Typical of reports is the one below:

Geoff Boycott has caused a storm by criticising England cricketer Michael Yardy over his depression, suggesting that the player was feeling down simply because he was not good enough at cricket.

The Sussex spinner pulled out of the World Cup after being diagnosed with clinical depression, but former England batsman Boycott had little sympathy for the 30-year-old during an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live.
"He must have been reading my comments about his bowling, it must have upset him," Boycott told the programme.

"Obviously it was too much for him at this level. If any blame is attached it's partly to the selectors because I'm sorry, he's not good enough at this level... For me, he was always going to be a liability or a poor choice at international level out here.

"I'm no doctor and I don't understand about the depression and I can't comment on it. I've been, with respect, a better player, I've been able to hold my place in the team for Yorkshire and England, I always got picked and played pretty good. So I've not been in that position where my quality of play has been poor and got to me mind-wise."
Boycott later backtracked slightly on his original comments, but he had already provoked widespread anger with his apparent callousness, with several mental health charities coming out to criticise the Yorkshireman's comments. Some described his words as "ill-informed" while others leapt to the defence of Sussex skipper Yardy.
"It is wrong and old-fashioned to regard depression as a form of weakness, or a disguise for a lack of achievement," said Marjorie Wallace of Sane. "It takes courage to speak out as Michael has done."

I'm delighted that most cricketers have responded much more sensibly. As this report in the Independent shows this is not a new issue for cricket to deal with

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