County news November 8, 2012

Trescothick sets sights on 40 and beyond


Marcus Trescothick may have suffered a premature end to his England career but he is determined to continue giving back to Somerset, the county where he has spent almost 20 years, expressing a desire to continue playing into his forties. Should he get there, then the life-enriching properties of sausages will have to be reappraised.

The county circuit lost two old-stagers into their fifth decades in 2012, with the retirements of Mark Ramprakash and Robert Croft - both 42 when age finally caught up with them. Trescothick, who played the last of his 76 Tests and 123 one-day internationals in 2006 before a stress-related illness prompted him to put club above country, will be 37 in December and missed a large chunk of last season with an ankle injury. However, successful surgery on the problem has provided encouragement that he has a few more years of brutalising county attacks left in him.

The loss of their captain for three months of the season was representative of Somerset's campaign, as 24 different players were used in the Championship - joint most with Surrey. Such disruption made their second-place finish, 24 points behind champions Warwickshire, all the more commendable and Trescothick - who passed 1,000 runs in five consecutive seasons between 2007 and 2011 - hopes to have several shots left at ending Somerset's long wait for a first Championship pennant.

"My target is to get to 40 and reassess things then," he said. "If my ankle and the rest of my body holds up, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't still be playing then and beyond. There's no more swelling now and there is an opportunity through the winter to strengthen it further.

"I know there will be niggles along the way and I may need the odd injection. But I am adapting my training programme to manage things and don't foresee any serious problems. I don't see much changing over the next three or four years and it is certainly my intention to go on playing for as long as possible."

Professional sportsmen in the modern era might be expected to go on longer than their predecessors, aided by advancements in training, dietary awareness and fitness regimes, but few cricketers contemplate playing the first-class game into their fifties, as WG Grace and Jack Hobbs once did.

The likes of John Emburey, Graham Gooch and Alec Stewart have, more recently, continued playing Test cricket into their forties, however, and Graeme Hick (who retired at 42) and Paul Nixon (40) continued to give good service to their counties until an age when it was once said life truly begins. Murray Goodwin, who was this year discarded by Sussex at the end of a season when the reactions appeared to have slowed irretrievably, was signed up by Glamorgan, two months before his 40th birthday.

In attempting to reach the landmark, Trescothick may have to steel himself for more heartache: in the last three years, Somerset have lost five limited-overs finals, as well as twice finishing runners-up in the Championship. Alongside the chance to end that rum run, there are personal records to contemplate. With 13,641 runs for the county, he is unlikely to overhaul Harold Gimblett (21,142) but Peter Wight's 16,965 is possibly within his reach. If form and fitness hold, he could become the first man to score 50 first-class hundreds for Somerset.

He would surely prefer to end the county's Championship hoodoo, though the sight of him carving cut shots across the Taunton outfield in four seasons' time would be satisfaction enough for many in that part of the world. A permanent place on the Sky Sports sofa, where Trescothick makes an engaging pundit, surely beckons but he won't be getting comfy just yet.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sanjay on November 11, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Look forward to seeing Somerset *almost* win the title and some one day trophies in 2013.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    The first Wisden Cricket Monthly I ever bought had a little section at the back which featured Schools Cricket. In that edition, a young man called Liam Botham had scored a hundred AND taken all 10 wickets (for 3 runs, I think!) in the same game. However another young man by the name of Marcus Trescothick scored about 6 or 7 centuries that month and was also highly praised. I've always looked for his scores since he started at Somerset as a 16-year-old! Good luck, Marcus!

  • Michael on November 9, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    It's always good when the better players go on past 40. This guy was pure gold for England, so deserving of all our appreciation.

  • Mark on November 9, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I'm pretty sure nothing would make Somerset fans happier than to see Tres integral in obtaining a trophy (CC ideally). Beloved in Somerset, never want to see him leave, glad to hear he is still happy playing at Taunton. He will definitely go down as one of the all time greats (and what I will always think of when I think of SCCC).

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    @Paul Martin. Except we couldn't afford him. We can't afford anything other than kids and other counties rejects these days.

  • Dummy4 on November 9, 2012, 1:46 GMT

    Do it, Tres. Keep going.

  • Peter on November 8, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    Great to see Tres in such a positive mood about his future for Somerset, and there's no reason he can't play until at least 40. Such an exciting and brutal batsman, and what service he's given! Yes, it's a shame his international career was sadly cut short, but that's life. He was great for England and Somerset, and he's been great for just Somerset ever since.

  • John on November 8, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    Yes , echo David's comms re Tres being box office but what a legend he has been at Taunton and before he got injured he had his best ever season.I sincerely hope he gets to pick up some silverwear (preferably the CC) before he goes. If Glen Chappel can do it at Lancs....

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    He will never leave Somerset CCC. Yes, he could have been rich what with T20 tournaments popping around. It is, fortunately, Somerset's gain and the world's loss. My fave player!!

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    should be allowed to continue as long as his body holds up, would have been an international stars for years more if not for his problems

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