Marcus Trescothick calls time on England career March 22, 2008

Trescothick retires from international cricket

Cricinfo staff
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Marcus Trescothick in his pomp © Getty Images
 

Marcus Trescothick, the England and Somerset batsman, has announced his retirement from international cricket. Having suffered from a stress-related illness since 2006 Trescothick, 32, doesn't feel able to return to the high-pressure world of international cricket.

"I have tried on numerous occasions to make it back to the international stage and it has proved a lot more difficult than I expected," he told the Somerset website. "I want to extend my playing career for as long as possible and I no longer want to put myself through the questions and demands that go with trying to return to the England team."

It cuts short his career on 76 Test matches, in which he made 5825 runs and struck 14 hundreds, including a top score of 219. He was just as valuable, if not more effective, in one-day cricket where he was able to capitalise on his natural power and timing. In 123 one-dayers, he cracked 4335 runs at 37.37 - second only to Alec Stewart as England's leading one-day run-scorer.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time playing for England, and I am very proud of having been selected for 76 Test matches and over 120 ODIs. It has been great privilege to represent my country and I am grateful to the game of cricket for giving me the opportunity to excel at a sport that I enjoy so much.

"My desire to play cricket is as strong as it ever was. But, due to the problems that I have experienced, travelling abroad has become extremely stressful for me. I now think that it is in the best interests of all concerned that the issue is put to rest so that the England team can concentrate on moving forward, and I can concentrate all my efforts on playing well for Somerset."

Trescothick's problems first came to light, albeit under a shroud of secrecy, in February 2006 when he pulled out of England's tour of India, days before the first Test. Weeks later, he dispelled the rumours by admitting he had been suffering from a viral infection, though doubts lingered as to whether something more sinister - or long-term - persisted.

And so it did. He pulled out of the Champions Trophy in India later that year, pledging to get himself fit for the Ashes in November, but that was a tour too far. After flying home from Australia, the news emerged that Trescothick had broken down in the dressing room with a recurrence of the stress-related illness. It was clear by this stage that any return to the international fold would not happen overnight, if at all.

Despite a promising season with Somerset in 2007, and occasional signs of encouragement - "I'm desperate to play for England again" he admitted midway through the season - he eventually publicly conceded his depressive illness to his friend and former team-mate, Iain Fletcher. It was increasingly evident that no amount of time away from the game would help cure this particular illness. When he pulled out of Somerset's pre-season tour to the UAE a few weeks ago, not even the cheeriest of optimists could deny that his England career was probably over.

Trescothick's England captain, Michael Vaughan, on tour in New Zealand, paid tribute to his former opening partner. "On behalf of all the England players, I would like to thank Marcus for his contribution to the team. He has been an outstanding player for England in both forms of the game, a pleasure to captain, and a terrific influence on our dressing room.

"This is a tough decision for any international cricketer to make," said Vaughan, "but I believe it is the right one for him and he has my full support as he now embarks on the next stage of his cricketing career. I know how much Somerset County Cricket Club means to him and I'm sure he will now be devoting all his energies to helping the club achieve further success in the future."