Vaughan claims Trott celebrated with South Africa
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has accused Jonathan Trott of celebrating with the victorious South African team last year after having committed to play for England. Although the South African-born batsman denies the claim, Vaughan said Thursday that several teammates also saw it happen as South Africa won its first test series in England in 43 years only a week after Trott had been 12th man for the hosts. "It was an eye-opener for me," Vaughan told The Associated Press. "He denies the claim, but four of five of the players saw that. I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it and he's committed to playing for England and score many runs and help us win games. "But you've got to be clever. You've got to be smart enough to reason that, one week you're 12th man, the next week you don't get seen with the South African team. Just be clever, be smart - but you don't do that. Would you see it happen in Australia? In South Africa? No." Vaughan first made the allegation in his autobiography, "Time To Declare," which was published on Wednesday. "It was a sad day for English cricket that on my last day (as England captain) against South Africa, I saw Jonathan Trott celebrating with South Africa when, the week before, he had been our 12th man at Headingley," Vaughan wrote. "I was going into the press conference and I saw him patting them on the back. It hit home what English cricket has become like." In Thursday's papers, Trott said some in the South African touring party went over to greet him, rather than the other way round. One of England's most respected batsmen and captains, Vaughan also said he considered quitting Yorkshire for traditional rival Lancashire 10 years ago when he was struggling to score runs on the bowler-friendly wickets at Headingley. Vaughan, who retired this season, stayed with Yorkshire, made his England debut later that season and went on to lead the test team to an Ashes triumph over Australia in 2005. "I wasn't scoring as many runs as I would have liked," Vaughan said. "Old Trafford was a ground where I scored lots of runs and I was going to go purely because I thought I was more likely to score more runs on that kind of surface. Eventually, my mentality realized I just had to be a bit tougher and I stayed with Yorkshire." Vaughan developed into a stylish run-maker with strong tactical skills that helped his captaincy. In 2005, he led England to its first Ashes series win since 1987. But a serious knee problem, which he now puts down to a degenerative condition plus serious injuries he had as a child, meant his career was put on hold. Despite several comeback attempts, Vaughan said the injuries and his inability to regain his form took away his drive and his mental strength. After England lost the last year's series to South Africa, he decided to step down as captain with one test to go. In the autobiography, Vaughan explains how his first love was football rather than cricket, having a trial as a 13-year-old with his favorite club, Sheffield Wednesday, only to be turned down. He also calls for a complete restructure of domestic cricket in England to help the test team, restricting the number of county championship games and avoiding the overcrowded jumble of four-day, 40-over and Twenty20 matches that don't allow players to prepare and rest. Vaughan also wants county teams to play championship matches abroad to get future test players used to different playing conditions and take advantage of commercial spinoffs. "Why can't Yorkshire play Lancashire in Mumbai?" he asked. "Commercially, cricket in India is a business. What's our business? Cricket." Among his 18 test centuries, Vaughan's scores of 197 and 195 against India in 2002, and 183 and 177 in Australia the following tour were part of what he describes as his "golden years" that made him the top-ranked batsman in the world. But he never scored a double century, not even in first-class cricket. "I should have got one of those," Vaughan said Thursday. "I got close. I was on 197 against India and went for a big shot. "But I entertained a few people."