County news January 21, 2016

Rogers, Allenby step up as Trescothick steps down

Marcus Trescothick has relinquished the Somerset captaincy after six seasons in the job © Getty Images

Marcus Trescothick has promised his "unconditional support" to his replacements having stepped down as captain of Somerset.

Trescothick, now aged 40, was appointed captain in 2010 but, despite leading the side through some of the most enjoyable, competitive years in their history, the trophies remained elusive.

Chris Rogers, recently signed as Somerset's overseas player, will captain the side in the Championship, while Jim Allenby, Australian-born but England-qualified, will captain the side in the limited-overs formats. Trescothick, whose decision was described as "mutually agreed with the club", will continue to play.

Trescothick's spell as captain will be remembered for its near misses; 2010 was especially painful as Somerset, who have never won the County Championship, finished runner-up in all three trophies. Despite finishing level on points with Nottinghamshire in the Championship, Somerset missed out by virtue of fewer victories. They also missed a final-ball run-out that would have won them the T20 final.

They were runners-up in the T20 and 40-over competitions again in 2011 and in the Championship in 2012.

But at a club where success has - rightly or wrongly - often been defined a little more in terms of enjoyment than silverware, Trescothick's period in charge may be remembered as a golden age. And it is true that sell-out crowds - even Championship cricket still attracts decent audience numbers in Taunton - exciting cricket and the emergence of some fine homegrown players may be interpreted as more important than trophies.

Not by everyone, though. The decision to appoint two Australian-born cricketers - and it is noticeable that James Hildreth, who might be seen as an archetypal Somerset cricketer, has been overlooked - speaks of a desire to inject a ruthlessness into the side that it has rarely displayed.

The management wants regular international cricket at a ground whose charm was once exemplified by its dog track and scrumpy. The replacement of the old pavilion, charming but beyond its time, with a fine, new stand might be a metaphor for the club's current state. Progress often brings casualties.

"I have loved being captain of Somerset," Trescothick said. "It has been a tremendous privilege and honour to lead this great club over many years.

"But now is the right time for change. I will be giving Chris and Jim my unconditional support, as well as focusing on scoring as many runs as I can in the season ahead. I would like to thank all of the players, coaches and members for their support during my tenure."

Matt Maynard, the club's director of cricket, said: "Marcus has made an unbelievable contribution to the club as its captain over many years. I know I will be joined by all of our members in thanking him for his unfailing commitment and dedication to leading the side.

"Marcus will now have an opportunity to focus all of his energies on his batting and we hope that stepping down from the captaincy will extend his playing career in the seasons to come."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo