London: Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott criticised all-rounder Michael Yardy for quitting the team midway through the World Cup due to depression but had to back down from his comments after causing an outrage.
"I'm surprised, very surprised," Boycott said after being told about Yardy's decision to head home just days before the quarterfinal clash against Sri Lanka.
"But he must have been reading my comments about his bowling, it must have upset him. 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," he told the 'BBC 5 Live'.
"I'm sorry, on good pitches you're not going to hold good players down and if it turns he doesn't spin it well enough to get them out. So, for me, he was always going to be a liability or a poor choice at international level out here."
His comments caused an outrage among fans and mental health charities and institutions with a BBC presenter acknowledging that the station received "quite a lot of people complaining about that."
Boycott later mellowed his comments and said he is not qualified to speak on Yardy's mental state as he has never battled depression himself.
"He's got to go home then but for me it's very difficult. I'm no doctor and I don't understand about the depression and I can't comment on it," he said.
"It's obviously very sad. But I'm not a medical man, so I can't tell you what it's like to be depressed. I've been lucky, I've been good enough ... until you've had depression I don't think you're qualified to talk about it," he added.