Trescothick Expects the Worst

Speaking at a press conference in Sydney yesterday, Trescothick said he had arrived in Australia feeling refreshed and re-enthused about the game he loves. Nevertheless, he expects to be reminded about his recent difficulties.

“I have no doubt about it. I’m pretty sure something will be said along the way but I have to accept that that’s going to be a part of it. Maybe things that are talked about over the next couple of weeks will help me prepare for it a little bit” Trescothick said. “If I thought to myself that nothing was going to happen and suddenly went into the Test match and it was a barrage of everything I didn’t want to hear, it would probably catch me by surprise, but I am expecting the worst”.

Although not naming the symptoms which forced him home from the tour of India early this year and kept him out of the recent Champions Trophy, Trescothick spoke with admirable honesty about his condition. “It was a lot of different things… you feel like a bit of a failure, if you like. You feel like you’re giving in to something, and it’s got a bit of a stigma with it when you talk about stress-related illnesses and stuff, to give in and finally come out and say what had happened was, for me, the best thing I could do, because I got it off my chest, and I had nothing then to fear from other people” he told the waiting media.

“Not only was I trying to play international cricket and succeed at my job, but some days not feeling too good and having to think about other things. I didn’t want to show people anything was wrong – of course I didn’t – you just want to carry on and go about your job”.

Trescothick is an integral part of England’s set up. As the only batsman with Test experience in Australia, he will have an important role to play at the top of the order, and in assisting the younger England players adjust to antipodean conditions. This is especially so in the absence of Michael Vaughan who was so prolific on England’s last tour.

The upcoming series also affords an opportunity for the talented left-hander to score his maiden Test hundred against Australia. Despite being the second-leading run-scorer in last year’s Ashes triumph behind Kevin Pietersen, Trescothick has never scored a century against the old foe at the highest level and averages 33.76 in 15 matches against Australia, compared with an overall average of nearly 44. His previous tour Down Under yielded a modest 261 runs at 26.10, however, there can be no doubt he is a better player now than in 2003.

Often professional sportspeople see fit to speak in cliches in order to reveal as little as possible about themselves. Trescothick’s candour is to be applauded. He revealed an insight into the life of an international cricketer which is rarely seen by those who support the game. As supporters we often ignore the enormous physical and emotional toll on players from long periods spent in the spotlight while away from family and friends.

As the rewards from the game get greater, so do the pressures on its finest exponents. Yesterday, Marcus Trescothick revealed a human side to the modern cricketer. More power to him.

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