Trott with a point to prove
England newcomer Jonathan Trott is targeting a return to his native South Africa for the Twenty20 World Cup later this year determined to “show them how good I have become”.
Like Kevin Pietersen before him, Trott turned his back on the South African system to pursue his ambitions of playing international cricket for England.
He represented South Africa at the Under-15 and Under-19 World Cups but signed for Warwickshire in 2002, at a time when the Bears were being coached by family friend Bob Woolmer.
Trott qualified for England last year and hopes to complete a five-year journey by playing in the first NatWest Twenty20 international against West Indies at the Brit Oval on Thursday.
“I had always wanted to come across and play in England,” explained Trott, whose father and grandparents were born in London before they moved to Cape Town.
“It started crossing my mind in my late teens. I always had an association with England growing up and decided I would like to play for England one day.
“It was a big decision in my life but it was purely a cricketing decision. I looked at the county system and thought it was the best in the world.
“I thought I had a better chance of becoming an international player with the better structure of first-class cricket.
“The quota system in South Africa was something I thought about and I made my decision with a lot of guidance.
“I thought I could go further with South Africa but I wanted to be the best player I could be and I thought playing county cricket would give me a better chance of doing that. That decision has got me this far and hopefully I can go further.
“I am just thinking about Thursday and Friday at the moment but it would be nice to go back to South Africa and show them how good I have become.”
This season, Trott’s one-day form has been red hot. He averages 88 in the 50-over Friends Provident Trophy and 44 in the Twenty20 Cup, with a strike rate of 114.
Trott is related to the former Australian batsman Albert Trott, the only man to have hit a six over the Lord’s pavilion.
“I like to hit the ball hard too, but along the ground!” he joked.
Trott and Pietersen played against each other at under-19 level in South Africa for their respective state sides, Western Province and Natal, and continued their rivalry in the county game.
The pair locked horns with some fiery banter in the 2005 C&G Trophy final but it is understood Pietersen extended the hand of friendship as soon as Trott was announced in England’s 14-man squad.
“He said congratulations and I thanked him,” said Trott. “There is rivalry in all cricket. I don’t think it’s rivalry (between us), I think it is two competitive people who want to win.
“Everyone is really upbeat and excited about the game on Thursday.”
Trott suffered an injury scare when he was hit on the left hand during a net session on Tuesday. He was due to undergo a precautionary X-ray that evening.
It comes as a further setback to England on the day that it was confirmed Ian Bell has torn a hamstring.
An ultrasound showed Bell, Trott's Warwickshire team-mate, has a minor grade one tear sustained during fielding practice on Monday.