County news October 15, 2013

Trescothick credits 'life saving' PCA


Marcus Trescothick has hailed the "life saving" impact of the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) Benevolent Fund as he prepares to undertake a marathon bike ride to raise money for the charity.

The fund set up by the players' union aims to help cricketers and their dependants deal with times of hardship or upheaval and was a substantial help to Trescothick when he was in the grip of depression.

"I need to give something back," Trescothick told ESPNcricinfo. "I've had use of the benevolent fund. The PCA helped me massively when I didn't know where to turn and for that I will always be grateful. If there is anything I can do to repay that, by putting a name to an event or creating awareness, I'm only too happy to try.

"When I came back from India in 2006, I was struggling. I needed help and it was the PCA who were there for me.

"I called Richard Bevan, who was the PCA chief executive at the time, when I didn't know what to do or where to turn. He said 'give me an hour' and, within two hours, I had a knock on the door and there was a psychologist there to help me. That sort of instant service was an incredible help and whatever happens in the future, I'd like to continue my affiliation with the fund so I give something back."

Trescothick is one of a host of cricketers taking part in the Big Bike Ride to raise money for the PCA Benevolent Fund and the Tom Maynard Trust. The group of 62 riders, which includes Andrew Flintoff, Darren Gough, Jos Buttler, Darren Maddy, Alan Mullally and Matthew Maynard, will cycle from Durham to London over five days from October 18. They will travel 441 miles and hope to raise £200,000.

"I'm not the only one who has benefited. Far from it. The PCA has had a life saving impact on some players who have fallen into hard times and it's vital we continue to grow it so we can deal with the issues that affect the next generation of players. I'm not sure people really appreciate just how important it is."

Trescothick and co. will also be raising funds for the Tom Maynard Trust, which aims to help disadvantaged young sportsmen. Trescothick knows the Maynard family well. On his ODI debut he batted alongside Matthew Maynard and then, a few years later, the pair worked together during the 2005 Ashes when Maynard was part of the England coaching team and Trescothick's positive batting set the platform for England's approach in the series.

"Yes, I played with Matt and got to know Tom as he was growing up," Trescothick said. "He was a very popular lad. You only have to look at all the events people are organising in his memory to see the impact he had on so many lives. He was a fun-loving bloke; a really great character.

"He used to nick my bats. We were both with Gunn and Moore at the time but he felt that my bats were a bit better than his, so he would always ask for a couple.

"His funeral was packed. Everyone in cricket was there. His death was a tragedy that touched everyone and one of those moments when you realised how close the cricket family is and how people support each other in times like that."

While some of the better-known participants will complete a leg or two of the journey, Trescothick is committed for all five days. He expects it to be physically gruelling: "It's not meant to be easy. Hopefully the idea of how far we're going and how tough it will be will inspire people to give.

"But even though I know it will be hard work, I'm expecting it to be great fun. There will be great camaraderie between the riders and if people want to come and say hi at each stop, that would be great. We're doing it for two great causes and I'm sure that, even when we're struggling up a hill in the rain, that will keep us going."

You can follow the Big Bike Ride route here and make a donation here

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brian on October 19, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    @Munkeymomo: Fair play to you in turn, sir. With reference to your point in regard to the cultural inhibitions of those from a small-time area, I can think of a Yeovil-raised individual, by the name of IT Botham, who is an interesting case study. At times he seemed to do OK on the big stage. But in the biggest finals he played in, namely the world cup finals of 1979 and 1992, he didn't do so well, so maybe that vindicates your point. I am with you in wishing Trescothick well; I wouldn't object to seeing Somerset under his leadership win a trophy next season, so long as they don't beat my team Lancashire in the final ...

  • Dummy4 on October 17, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Nick Knight better than Tresco? Is that a joke? Nick Knight was a decent player but barring his illness Tresco would have retired with 8000 Test runs, and probably something similar in ODIs. I think it's quite safe to say that Tresco is one of the best batsmen ever produced by this country, and a fine man to boot. I hope he scores a bucketful of runs next season.

  • Mark on October 15, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    @TDS: Fair points. Trescothick was a fine test player for England. He is also a county legend. There aren't too many sportsmen from Somerset as well loved as Tres. In fact he may well be the top (albeit of a fairly short list).

    He has under-performed in finals, but then so has everyone in the sms team. It could well be a cultural thing for a people from a small time area (that would give me an excuse for my presentation skills too!).

    I want to see him win something for sms. He used to play against my dad in the north somerset leagues when I was a kid and I would go watch (apparently, I was about 5). I grew up with stories about him playing against my club. Everyone loves him in Somerset and he is a really lovely man. I would be very happy to see him a part of the club in whatever function as long as he wants to.

  • John on October 15, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    Good for Trescothick and the other cricketers who are doing this. I hope their efforts are even more successful than they hope.

    @ropsh: Trescothick's preparing to cycle 90 miles a day for 5 days for charity and that's what you come up with? What a miserable little world you live in.

  • Brian on October 15, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    A bit more balance is needed in these comments. Nick Knight was a fine ODI opener for England. Unfortunately he failed to take the chances he was offered at test level, but could feel a bit unlucky that he wasn't given more chances. Coming into international cricket with a fairly mediocre first-class record to that point, Trescothick had an impressive subsequent career with one or two notable gaps. For instance, oddly, he never made a century against Australia in 15 tests. While he notes in these comments that he has never featured in a championship winning side (something which Knight did achieve), one might also observe that on account of his curious record of losing (and underperforming with the bat) in finals, he has not yet captained Somerset to win anything. But I wish Trescothick the best; he is clearly highly thought of by his fellow professionals (what with 3 PCA awards) and I applaud him for undertaking this bike ride. I also have a far higher opinion of Knight than KP does.

  • John on October 15, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    Now this IS a man who IS Somerset through and through - even if he is not in the same class as Knight - lol

    I hope Somerset can make a few decent signings next season to help compensate for losing Jos. Would be sad if Tres retired without captaining Somerset to a trophy.

    Good on him and the guys for putting something back

  • Jonathan on October 15, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Tresco was favoured over Knight because he averaged over 40 in test cricket, rather than under 30. The numbers do the talking.

  • Dummy4 on October 15, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    How on earth to you draw on that conclusion Ropsh!

    The stats speak for themselves. Knight could never hack it at Test level, caught in the slips far too often after playing too much one day stuff.

    Treso adapted his game to Test level with much (MUCH) more success.

    Look at the 100's scored and averages at international level.

  • Vishwaksena on October 15, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Trescothick was a good batsmen with a touch of class with him.Good steps taken by him to support PCA, would have been an english legend had he carried on playing cricket for his country.A cricketer who had his career cut to short due to unfortunate reasons.Good that he is still in domestic circle helping yound players develop & serve as inspiration to many new openors.

  • Ro on October 15, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Tresco has never been as good as Nick Knight, yet was constantly favoured for non-cricketing reasons.

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