Adelaide: Australian opener David Warner has broken his silence on the departure of Jonathan Trott from the Ashes, saying he had no idea the England batsman was struggling with an illness.
Warner has been criticized since the first Test at Brisbane for comments made to Australian reporters in which he described Trott's batting against fast bowler Mitchell Johnson as "pretty poor and weak." When it was reported that Trott was returning to England because of a stress-related illness, Warner's comments seemed to gain a new context and to be more personally targeted at Trott.
But Warner told Fairfax Media on Friday that he had no knowledge of Trott's illness and wished the South African-born player a full and speedy recovery.
"We didn't know anything about an illness or what not," Warner said. "It's sad to see anyone go through that tough period and obviously if he's got an illness that's there we hope he gets the right people to help him out.
"We know the world-class kind of batter he is: He averages 50 in Test cricket and he has been a great player, a rock for England. I wish him all the best and I know our team wishes him all the best. I hope he gets well soon and (is back) playing the best cricket he can."
England coach Andy Flower and captain Alastair Cook have said Warner's comments had no influence on Trott's decision to quit the Ashes tour, though both have urged players to exercise more restraint in both on-field "sledging" and off-field comments.
Flower called Warner's comments "disrespectful" and Warner later admitted his criticism of Trott had "probably gone too far."
Warner said Friday he expected to face England's hostility in the second test which starts at Adelaide on Thursday
"I was always going to cop criticism no matter what from what I said," Warner said. "As I said before, I probably stepped over that line and at the end of the day it's cricket. We've got to go out there and play the best we can and as hard as we can without crossing that line.
"Going into public and saying what I did probably did go over the line a little bit. Obviously it's unfortunate that (Trott) has gone home now. I hope he gets well because we know the type of player he is and he will bounce back from it."