COLOMBO, (Reuters) – All-rounder Michael Yardy has been withdrawn from England’s World Cup squad because of depression, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said today.
Yardy has returned home and Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid has been called up as a replacement, the ECB said in a statement.
“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 that decision,” Yardy was quoted as saying in the ECB statement.
“I would like to wish the squad all the very best ahead of the (quarter-final) game (against Sri Lanka) on Saturday. I would appreciate some privacy over the coming weeks while I spend time with family and close friends ahead of what I hope will be a successful season for Sussex.”
Yardy is the fourth player to pull out from England’s World Cup squad. Batsman Kevin Pietersen (hernia) and pace bowlers Stuart Broad (side strain) and Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) flew home earlier during the tournament.
Another paceman, Tim Bresnan, underwent a precautionary scan on his calf after he suffered minor discomfort in his right leg.
England, who are in Colombo preparing for their World Cup quarter-final against Sri Lanka, expect him to be fit for Saturday’s match.
“We had a scan yesterday and he will bowl tomorrow (Friday),” a spokesperson for the team said.
Bresnan, who has taken nine wickets from six matches so far in the tournament, had suffered a torn calf muscle in the ODI series against Australia before the World Cup and returned home for rehabilitation.
The ECB said Yardy consulted the England medical team before flying 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.”
“I would like to offer my full support to Michael on behalf of everyone involved with the England team and the ECB,” managing director Hugh Morris said.
“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.”
England batsman Ravi Bopara said Yardy’s predicament would not distract the team from concentrating on their quarter-final showdown against Sri Lanka.
“Mike Yardy’s decision is a personal decision. It’s not going to affect anyone,” Bopara told reporters.
“It doesn’t definitely affect me. I am still working on my game and everybody else is working on their game.”
Rashid is currently in the West Indies with England Lions and is expected to arrive in Colombo on Saturday.
The 23-year-old played the last of his five ODIs in November 2009. He has scored 60 runs and has taken three wickets.