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Yardy illness saddens Swann

Lifestyle of an international cricketer not picture perfect, says spinner

Swann & Yardy: All smiles

England off-spinner Graeme Swann has admitted he and his team-mates were "shocked and very sad" when Michael Yardy flew home from the World Cup with depression, however he also believes it is inevitable that the lifestyle of an international cricketer will eventually take its toll.

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"One thing I do know, is as international cricketers we are frequently away from home for months, often playing fairly meaningless matches scheduled purely to put silver in the coffers of some cricket board."

Graeme Swann

Quotes of the week

Writing in his column for The Sun, Swann expressed his support for the Sussex all-rounder and warned hectic tour schedules, "often playing fairly meaningless matches scheduled purely to put silver in the coffers", are hard on many players.

"The England players were shocked and very sad when we heard Michael Yardy had flown home because of depression," Swann wrote.

"Yards is a great lad, a very popular member of the squad and the most important thing is he gets well again as soon as possible.

Meaningless

"Clearly, if it had reached the stage that Yards couldn't manage being on tour any longer, going home straight away to be with his nearest and dearest was the only decision to be made.

"Players can get into pretty dark places on tour, especially if things don't go well. You might have a couple of bad games or be dropped and your mind can take you to places you don't want to go.

"Add to that the curse of a depressive illness and the rest of us can only imagine what Yards has been going through."

Swann added: "One thing I do know, is as international cricketers we are frequently away from home for months, often playing fairly meaningless matches scheduled purely to put silver in the coffers of some cricket board.

"I'm not going to bleat about the lifestyle - we normally stay in great hotels and have most of our whims and wishes attended to.

"But it is inevitable that the treadmill of playing, practising, flying and living out of a suitcase can take a toll."

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