October 16, 2009

Applaud Trescothick's effort, don't condemn the failure

Through his stress-related illness, Trescothick has focussed on his family, Somerset included. It was for them that he agreed to fly to India
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Marcus Trescothick did his utmost to overcome the demons that have plagued the latter years of his career, but in the end, the expectation proved too great. Driven by loyalty to his county colleagues at Somerset, he travelled back to India - the scene of his breakdown on England's tour in February 2006 - and for two personally uneventful matches of the Champions League Twenty20, everything seemed to be well within his mindset.

But all it took was a quick flutter of the "black wings", as he evocatively described them in last year's award-winning autobiography, and an end to the experiment was swiftly called. Somerset's planning and reaction cannot be faulted - they did everything in their power to ease Trescothick's anxieties, and his wife Hayley was by his side throughout the trip. But as soon as the merest hint of a doubt set in, there was not even a heartbeat's hesitation from the management.

With the blessing of Brian Rose, Somerset's director of cricket, Trescothick was rushed onto the first flight home, even though his imperious talents at the top of the order were to be sorely missed in the club's subsequent defeat to the Eagles. The welfare of their player of the year, and their newly appointed captain for 2010, was of far greater importance than the fleeting (if lucrative) glory on offer in a strange and unfamiliar campaign, and in an era supposedly ruled by the bottom line that is somewhat touching.

A team of doctors and psychotherapists have worked with Trescothick in the years since his stress-related illness first emerged into the public domain, and theirs are the only opinions that hold any sway in the decisions taken by the club and the player. Nevertheless, only the stoniest heart can fail to sympathise with a man who gave his all to England for five extraordinarily successful years from his debut in 2000, only to be ground down, in the end, by the sheer futility of a life in the sporting spotlight.

Mental illnesses manifest themselves in many ways, but the afflicted often talk of hearing hostile and controlling voices that commentate on everything that they say and do. In the case of an elite sportsman, however, those voices are not only real, they exist on a multitude of platforms - in the media, in the pubs, on the streets, and latterly, in the blogosphere. Given that Trescothick fled his last two England tours in tears, and failed even to board the plane on his last attempt to play overseas in 2008, the expectation of another breakdown can only have exacerbated the pressure he put upon himself.

Sure enough, only minutes after the news of his withdrawal had been posted on Somerset's website last night, those voices broke into a chorus of cackling criticism. "Pathetic sausage-munching ****er" was one pithily sympathetic opinion that popped up on Twitter. His trip turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. "I know the risks and I know what can happen when it goes wrong," he had said before the tournament, "but I can only try." Try he most certainly did, but very sadly, he failed.

It would be wrong to presume a root cause for Trescothick's depression, but all the same, it is not an offence to empathise, and back in 2005, during England's tour of Pakistan, an incident occurred in the midst of a chain of events that would lead even the most well-balanced individual to question his or her priorities, let alone a character such as Trescothick, who by his own admission had already shown signs in his young life of obsessive-compulsive behaviour.

England embarked on that tour of Pakistan as the form team in world cricket - six series wins in a row and the Ashes in the bag to boot. But when Michael Vaughan's knee gave way in the days before the first Test in Multan, it was Trescothick who was handed the honour of leading the side into a new era. As it happens, he consulted with his wife before accepting the appointment - it would later transpire she was suffering from post-natal depression - but midway through the match that hidden pressure was exacerbated by a horrible accident at their family home.

Trescothick's father-in-law, John Rowse, who had come round to fix some tiles on the roof, fell 40 feet off a ladder and lay on the ground unaided for several hours. The incident, which Trescothick watched over and over again in the hours that followed, thanks to a CCTV link-up to his mobile phone, left Rowse in a critical condition in hospital, and Trescothick in the ultimate quandary.

He was leading his country in perhaps the most remote Test venue in the world - certainly it could not have been further removed from the fervent Ashes atmosphere, and it just so happened that he was 135 not out, and inching his side into the ascendancy. It was the sporting equivalent of Sophie's Choice, and condemnation awaited, no matter what course of action he took. After much agonising he put his job before his family, and - call it what you like - something resembling karma kicked in with a vengeance.

Trescothick duly missed out on a double-century, falling for 193 in the first innings, and England, in a stunning finale to the contest, were skittled for 175 second time around to lose by 22 runs. To all intents and purposes, the series was lost then and there, and so too was Trescothick, who had stayed against his better judgment, and to what avail? He limped through the next two matches, totalling 98 runs in four innings in Faisalabad and Lahore, and never again featured in an overseas Test.

Only minutes after the news of his withdrawal had been posted on Somerset's website last night, those voices broke into a chorus of cackling criticism. "Pathetic sausage-munching ****er" was one pithily sympathetic opinion that popped up on Twitter. His trip turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. "I know the risks and I know what can happen when it goes wrong," he had said before the tournament, "but I can only try."

"I was devastated," Trescothick wrote in his book. "Though I tried to put a brave face on things in the captain's press conference afterwards, trotting out all the required lines about 'character', 'sticking together', 'team spirit', etc, the beer in Vaughan's room before we departed tasted especially flat. My father-in-law was lying in the intensive care unit at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. Hayley was pleading with me to come home. I had captained the side, scored one of my best-ever hundreds, and we had lost."

With that episode etched on his memory, it's little wonder he's felt a shiver on each subsequent occasion he's been away from home. In the very first chapter of his autobiography, Trescothick wrote of the awful separation anxiety that engulfed him at Heathrow Airport in March 2008, when he attempted to fly to Dubai for Somerset's pre-season tour, but couldn't bear the thought of being away from his young daughters, Ellie and Millie, even for 12 days.

Family has been Trescothick's overriding priority since that winter, and who can condemn him for that? By extension, that family includes the county that has guided his fortunes since his teenage days, and it was for them, more than for him, that he agreed to fly to India this month to partake in a potentially transmogrative tournament. He should be applauded for trying, but he doesn't deserve to be condemned for failing.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • oneders on October 19, 2009, 13:57 GMT

    It takes guts to accept that you have a serious stress related illness in a game where people talk about mental toughness, mental disintegration, etc..etc... One should applaud Trescothick for being so brave in accepting his situation, being honest about it and trying to cope up with it in the best possible manner. For those, who try to vilify him, how many of us have the guts to speak out about our inner most fears????

  • StJohn on October 19, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    I don't agree with JGG32's comments: this is a blog/comments area, so I think freedom of expression (within certain boundaries) is both fine and necessary. Similarly, samuir seems a little presumptuous when saying "not that you or anyone else writing here could possibly comment". How do you presume to know what anyone else writing here has or hasn't been through? I think there is a valid argument that, to an extent, with mild depression you can choose to try to push through it rather than to succumb. And there are some odd inconsistencies in Trescothick's case. For example, does he feel the same way when travelling abroad for a family holiday? If his condition is that serious, how can he play at all? After all, captaining Somerset can't be entirely pressure or spotlight-free. But at the end of the day, it is a purely subjective and personal matter and nobody can or should criticise him for exercising a choice on the basis of how he alone feels.

  • JGG32 on October 19, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    Having the comments that have followed a pretty sensitive piece of journalism I feel that some posters should be ashamed of themselves. Who are you to try and second guess what another human being is feeling? Who are you to say who is strong and who is weak? And who are you to say whether another persons priorities are wrong or right? I urge you to think about these things, as after all cricketers are only human. How would you like it if someone was to write such speculations about you?

  • Vkarthik on October 19, 2009, 3:21 GMT

    Very talented cricketer. Not a great role model though.

  • boris6491 on October 19, 2009, 0:38 GMT

    He should most certainly be applauded for his sincere efforts, I dont think any of us can empathise with him but the effort required from his part to overcome his apprehension and take the step to travel overseas was really commendable. Unfortunately certain events can occur at the wrong times spurring mental scarring, and I feel for Marcus considering what he had to go through on England's tour of Pakistan 4 years ago. International cricket has nonetheless lost a great talent in this man, not least identified by his stupendous form displayed in last year's season for Somerset. It is a real shame but such is life, if he is enjoying his cricket playing at county level, then that is the only thing that matters. I only wish him all the best.

  • samuir on October 18, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    Rastus, it is you who is being ridiculous. Yes, perhaps the 'bravery' aspect is overplayed - most people with a mental illness want understanding rather than pity or a condescending admiration - but how much Trescothick earns and what he does (or anyone else does) for a job are irrelevant. It is not about how objectively 'hard' one's life is (not that you or anyone else writing here could possibly comment). Depression is a mental illness that can strike anyone in any situation; it is not cricket that has caused the illness, Trescothick just happens to be a cricketer that suffers from depression (not 'stress' and not 'homesickness'). If there is bravery, it is in his attempts to go on regardless and to do what is expected of him. I am frankly appalled by those who judge without understanding what others go through.

  • azhar1 on October 18, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    Although I can understand stress-related illness, I disagree with Andrew Miller's overall assessment. It is interesting that although Terscothick has been treated by a team of health care professionals and is traveling with his family, he still has recurrence of his symptoms. It appears that his mystery ailment flares up only when the word India or Pakistan comes up. I am sure while traveling all over England for Somerset's away games he does not lug his wife and children along. One can make up all sorts of medical excuses, but the reality is that he is a professional English cricketer who does not like to travel to the sub-continent. My advice would be to continue playing English cricket and quit being a "hero" by trying to "overcome" some non-medical "demons".

  • Rastus on October 18, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    I think people are being a bit ridiculous here. Ok so he shouldn't be vilified for having a mental illness but he also shouldn't be 'applauded' for trying to do his job that he gets paid a vast sum of money to perform. People nowadays seem a little soft. We have thousands of soldiers risking their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan They don't see their families for months at a time and do the job without whining and for very little reward.

  • rohanbala on October 18, 2009, 1:32 GMT

    StaniArmy's views are perfect.. There is nothing others can do anything to help Marcus Trescothick in the situation. May be, he would find a permanent remedy to his stress-related illness after he retires from the game. I am reminded of the Pakistan player - Zaheer Abbas who made mincemeat of the English bowlers during his various encounters in England......but the same Zaheer was afflicted by a strange patch during one of his subsequent tours to India when he used to be bowled by Roger Binny, the Indian medium pacer for single digit scores.

  • bicyclelegs on October 18, 2009, 0:46 GMT

    @mk49_van: It is insensitive comments like this that people like us who DO have mental illness have to deal with every day. This article doesn't try to sugar-coat the situation, it even uses the term "mental illness". Why should he retire? As a fellow sufferer I thank Marcus Trescothick for doing his best to stay in the workforce (in his case, the cricket field) and not be condemned to the scrapheap like I have been by my employers.

  • oneders on October 19, 2009, 13:57 GMT

    It takes guts to accept that you have a serious stress related illness in a game where people talk about mental toughness, mental disintegration, etc..etc... One should applaud Trescothick for being so brave in accepting his situation, being honest about it and trying to cope up with it in the best possible manner. For those, who try to vilify him, how many of us have the guts to speak out about our inner most fears????

  • StJohn on October 19, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    I don't agree with JGG32's comments: this is a blog/comments area, so I think freedom of expression (within certain boundaries) is both fine and necessary. Similarly, samuir seems a little presumptuous when saying "not that you or anyone else writing here could possibly comment". How do you presume to know what anyone else writing here has or hasn't been through? I think there is a valid argument that, to an extent, with mild depression you can choose to try to push through it rather than to succumb. And there are some odd inconsistencies in Trescothick's case. For example, does he feel the same way when travelling abroad for a family holiday? If his condition is that serious, how can he play at all? After all, captaining Somerset can't be entirely pressure or spotlight-free. But at the end of the day, it is a purely subjective and personal matter and nobody can or should criticise him for exercising a choice on the basis of how he alone feels.

  • JGG32 on October 19, 2009, 9:43 GMT

    Having the comments that have followed a pretty sensitive piece of journalism I feel that some posters should be ashamed of themselves. Who are you to try and second guess what another human being is feeling? Who are you to say who is strong and who is weak? And who are you to say whether another persons priorities are wrong or right? I urge you to think about these things, as after all cricketers are only human. How would you like it if someone was to write such speculations about you?

  • Vkarthik on October 19, 2009, 3:21 GMT

    Very talented cricketer. Not a great role model though.

  • boris6491 on October 19, 2009, 0:38 GMT

    He should most certainly be applauded for his sincere efforts, I dont think any of us can empathise with him but the effort required from his part to overcome his apprehension and take the step to travel overseas was really commendable. Unfortunately certain events can occur at the wrong times spurring mental scarring, and I feel for Marcus considering what he had to go through on England's tour of Pakistan 4 years ago. International cricket has nonetheless lost a great talent in this man, not least identified by his stupendous form displayed in last year's season for Somerset. It is a real shame but such is life, if he is enjoying his cricket playing at county level, then that is the only thing that matters. I only wish him all the best.

  • samuir on October 18, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    Rastus, it is you who is being ridiculous. Yes, perhaps the 'bravery' aspect is overplayed - most people with a mental illness want understanding rather than pity or a condescending admiration - but how much Trescothick earns and what he does (or anyone else does) for a job are irrelevant. It is not about how objectively 'hard' one's life is (not that you or anyone else writing here could possibly comment). Depression is a mental illness that can strike anyone in any situation; it is not cricket that has caused the illness, Trescothick just happens to be a cricketer that suffers from depression (not 'stress' and not 'homesickness'). If there is bravery, it is in his attempts to go on regardless and to do what is expected of him. I am frankly appalled by those who judge without understanding what others go through.

  • azhar1 on October 18, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    Although I can understand stress-related illness, I disagree with Andrew Miller's overall assessment. It is interesting that although Terscothick has been treated by a team of health care professionals and is traveling with his family, he still has recurrence of his symptoms. It appears that his mystery ailment flares up only when the word India or Pakistan comes up. I am sure while traveling all over England for Somerset's away games he does not lug his wife and children along. One can make up all sorts of medical excuses, but the reality is that he is a professional English cricketer who does not like to travel to the sub-continent. My advice would be to continue playing English cricket and quit being a "hero" by trying to "overcome" some non-medical "demons".

  • Rastus on October 18, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    I think people are being a bit ridiculous here. Ok so he shouldn't be vilified for having a mental illness but he also shouldn't be 'applauded' for trying to do his job that he gets paid a vast sum of money to perform. People nowadays seem a little soft. We have thousands of soldiers risking their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan They don't see their families for months at a time and do the job without whining and for very little reward.

  • rohanbala on October 18, 2009, 1:32 GMT

    StaniArmy's views are perfect.. There is nothing others can do anything to help Marcus Trescothick in the situation. May be, he would find a permanent remedy to his stress-related illness after he retires from the game. I am reminded of the Pakistan player - Zaheer Abbas who made mincemeat of the English bowlers during his various encounters in England......but the same Zaheer was afflicted by a strange patch during one of his subsequent tours to India when he used to be bowled by Roger Binny, the Indian medium pacer for single digit scores.

  • bicyclelegs on October 18, 2009, 0:46 GMT

    @mk49_van: It is insensitive comments like this that people like us who DO have mental illness have to deal with every day. This article doesn't try to sugar-coat the situation, it even uses the term "mental illness". Why should he retire? As a fellow sufferer I thank Marcus Trescothick for doing his best to stay in the workforce (in his case, the cricket field) and not be condemned to the scrapheap like I have been by my employers.

  • Rooboy on October 17, 2009, 22:40 GMT

    Probably best to leave Trescothick out of the media altogether, but the article is correct ... the guy should be praised for trying, not condemned for succumbing to his illness. What a terribly sad situation.

  • mk49_van on October 17, 2009, 21:48 GMT

    The guy should retire. He is not cut out for the job. Stress? I dont think so. It is mental illness. Let us not sugarcoat the truth but call it for what it actually is.

  • promal on October 17, 2009, 21:01 GMT

    Not for once do I think it's fair to comment on Marcus' illness. That's something that most of us don't have the expertise to comment on. But I surely question the judgement, his team's and his, of even contemplating this CLT20 trip to India. Whatever you might say about his loyalty to his club (more than to his country???), surely the only reason for him to contemplate this trip was because of its lucrative nature. And surely, the only reason that he had a relapse of his illness is because he was in India. Even his wife was by his side, so the whole 'home' and 'family' excuse don't hold much good either. Sadly, I'm sure if he was on a holiday with his wife to Europe or USA, he would be absolutely fine. And surely, playing T20 cricket for Somerset doesn't have any performance-related stresses like playing for England in any intl series. Eventually it came down purely to the fact that Marcus was in a place he's not comfortable with and should NEVER have gone to in the first place.

  • StaniArmy.Com on October 17, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    No, don't applaud him or anything - leave the poor guy alone. Talk about cricket, this is his personal matter. His county were foolish for taking him in the first place. Move on. You think you're helping but you're not.

  • cricket_fantastic on October 17, 2009, 12:02 GMT

    I respect Trescothick for being resilient, i wish him all the best, although some might have different opinions however we all respect Trescothick as a cricketer of international caliber. His contribution as a steady opener was outstanding (especially when facing the best of the Aus attack in the 05 ashes), and succeeding. Nothing is going to change that he will always be a fantastic opener be it whether he played this t20 tournament or not.

  • getgopi on October 17, 2009, 11:53 GMT

    My idea of a sportsman is someone who is constantly improving in all aspects of life. And I have been hearing about Marcus's illness in the media for a long time. It all just seemed a bit drawn out. But then I suppose it was the media who was putting Marcus in the limelight. Being an active person myself, it is somewhat difficult for me to fathom how someone who has done what he has for England could let anxiety-related emotion stop him in his tracks like that. But then I also know of people -- one with epilepsy -- who keep super-active to stay one step ahead of their disorders. As I already mentioned, Marcus is a talented cricketer. I suppose he inspires people in a much different way than your typical sportsman does. I understand why he doesn't want to play for England anymore, which now seems to be a wise decision on his part...he won't be of much use to the national team. Goodluck to him and his family!

  • StJohn on October 17, 2009, 11:25 GMT

    The comments about not being "manly" or being "unsporting" are stupid. Marcus deserves great credit for being so open about a condition that is often misunderstood or belittled. But it's hard to empathise. Most people suffer from depression to a degree at some point in their lives. The article suggests that Marcus's problems were triggered by an odd sequence of events in 2005. But would he still suffer the same condition if his step-father hadn't fallen off that ladder, or if Vaughan hadn't been injured, or if his wife hadn't had post-natal depression? Were those events just a trigger for some underlying, longer-term condition? Playing cricket abroad seems to trigger the "black wings", but would he feel the same way if he simply travelled abroad for a family holiday? Surely the pressure of playing for or captaining Somerset at home must be greater than playing a 20-20 game in Delhi? There seem to be some fundamental inconsistencies here. It might help Marcus if they could be resolved.

  • troyte on October 17, 2009, 9:13 GMT

    Here's another message for Getgobi. If you ever suffer from stress and anxiety and find not succumbing to them as simple as you seem to think it is, please publish your method and give the rest of us "unmanly" people the benefit of your wisdom.

  • CricketCalypso on October 17, 2009, 9:11 GMT

    I believe and know, through my own experience, that it took a huge amount of courage for Marcus to even contemplate going to on that tour, leave alone flying out and playing.

    I applaud his efforts, he is a brave and principled man trying to overcome a huge diifficulty. Going public has opened him both to criticism and ridicule. He deserves huge recognition for the fight he has every day of his life , and his openess and honesty about a condition that is little understood.

    If he was undergoing chemo for a cancer, there would be sympathy galore, why can't there be the same for this terrible mental illness?

  • Itchy on October 17, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    Good on MT for facing the demons - can not have been an easy decision but required a great deal of courage. Anybody who questions his manliness is either deluded or ignorant, probably both.

  • katochnr on October 17, 2009, 8:55 GMT

    this article changed my view of Trescothick .. it takes courage to face the inner demons (especially in a field where 'mental toughness' is taken as a norm) and kudos to him for trying his best ...

  • pochard on October 17, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    "A team of doctors and psychotherapists have worked with Trescothick in the years since his stress-related illness first emerged..." It's a pity he had to fall into their hands then, isn't it? Good luck to him, he has my fullest sympathy.

  • nawwabsahab on October 17, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    its really bad to hear such a talented guy is facing such problem. a bit away from a personal note, we must think of all the england fans and their dissappoinment towards this misery.

  • lareina on October 17, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    Just adding my voice to the chorus here - as a long-term sufferer of depression myself, the kind that sounds similar if not identical to what Marcus has, I just want to thank everyone who has written in offering compassion and advocating the same despite not having gone through it themselves. And getgopi, I think you need to re-evaluate your definition of manliness. Not that I would know, necessarily, I'm a woman, but Marcus's efforts to overcome his problems and willingness to do what is best for him, his family and his team make him more than man enough for me. And exactly how is it 'unsporting' to have an illness that affects your ability to play? By your definition spraining an ankle or contracting cancer would similarly be unsporting. How dare cricketers be injured or unwell!

    He's not a hero, no, but he's a man of strength and character who is battling an illness that is much, much worse than many people realize.

  • santhosh8866 on October 17, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    He is a very good player. I thought he would make a great impact in CL but really dissappointed. I was hoping he would make a royal comeback to england team..

  • cricketmama on October 17, 2009, 4:10 GMT

    I agree, it takes courage for someone to fess up to this illness. Marcus, thank you for trying. I really admire you for that. Good luck for the future. Do your county proud!

  • cloudmess on October 17, 2009, 1:59 GMT

    It is difficult to fathom Trescothick's condition from the outside, and I sympathise with these comments. It looks as if Tres is making a choice each time to 'succumb' to his illness - that he is depressed, that just he needs to pull himself together at these critical times. Even the tone of Miller's admirable article still suggests the illness is really an intense form of homesickness. The truth is, Trescothick's illness is not a mood, a moral weakness, or a choice of lifestyle - it is not even psychological discomfort like depression (though there is a link) - rather it is a condition which produces very real, unbearably painful physical symptons, which totally overwhelm and incapicate the sufferer. As for whether he's a hero - having once had first hand experience of what he went through in 2006, and then watched him score more runs than anyone else last summer, I have a fair idea.

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 17, 2009, 0:56 GMT

    It's good he knows for sure that he cannot do it again,just in case he wonders. The mind is a very strange thing in the way it reacts and the ways it processes success and failure. I suppose if that Test in Pakistan had been won he could have justified being there in the first place. I hope he finds the cure and wish him well.

  • NickHughes on October 16, 2009, 23:15 GMT

    Getgopi is wrong: It's takes a bigger man to admit he has a problem to the world than someone who is just a player in a team game. Marcus Trescothick has nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Munkeymomo on October 16, 2009, 22:27 GMT

    I have been a huge somerset fan for years and Marcus is a massive hero of mine, growing up watching him for somerset (even saw him play for keynesham once, he got a duck!), but he is a favourite in our great county and I personally think there is reason to applaude him... mental illness is a very serious condition, and @andya0619, if you knew anyone with a serious mental condition you may have a more sympathetic view towards his courageous effort! I am proud that our county has a player so dedicated that he puts all his efforts into trying to overcome his disorder and represent the team that he has served so well over the years, and I am proud of the response from the management. At the end of the day it doesn't matter Somerset do not win another game, we have already done ourselves proud by dealing with this situation in an axcellent manner. Thanks for trying Marcus, wish you all the best.

  • alexbrowne on October 16, 2009, 22:01 GMT

    "Mental illnesses manifest themselves in many ways, but the afflicted often talk of hearing hostile and controlling voices that commentate on everything that they say and do." Wasn't that just when they miked him up to the commentators during the first two CLT20 matches?

    In all seriousness, this is a well balanced article. I think it is impossible for most people to imagine Tresco's situation without experiencing it, but from all the stories it appears a very serious condition and you have to respect him for trying to confront it.

  • RichP on October 16, 2009, 21:21 GMT

    I feel I should respond to a few of the comments below. Suffering from a stress related illness has nothing to do with how "manly" you are and certainly nothing at all to do with how sporting you are. It's an illness. Is someone who has asthma unsporting or somehow not manly??

    Just because its an illness that you can't see or easily measure it doesn't mean that its not as debilitating as any other illness. In some respects it can be more difficult to deal with as it stops you from doing everything you want to do, but nothing to show for it.

    Illnesses such as these are often misunderstood, and the situation is not helped by some people playing the system and saying they are "stressed" when they are merely having a bad or hard day. They are two very different things.

    Ok maybe Marcus shouldn't be hailed as a hero, but he is someone that should be respected as an excellent and talented cricketer that is battling hard to overcome his difficulties.

    Marcus - I hope you feel better soon!

  • Partyman on October 16, 2009, 21:02 GMT

    get gobi - call me oblivious or ignorant, I just don't get your comment. Can you please define "manly" please?

  • since7 on October 16, 2009, 20:47 GMT

    well,we the fans dont have even an iota of information about his real problem..So,i feel its better to avoid gross stereotyping..Depression and such severe psychological issues stand apart the glory and the committment to a particular sport..afterall,they are humans too and they have many things to think abouit apart from the game they play..Its unfair to expect them to think only from the cricketing perspective

  • since7 on October 16, 2009, 20:43 GMT

    In sports where "machismo" is unduly celebrated and people who put up brave faces infront of the media and the public,though they might be struggling to fight the demons within,marcus must be applauded for being so open..The problem is that majority of the public have a prejudice that "depression' is a sign of weak will and timidity..but its much more than that..It has taken long for people to realise that and will even take more time to enter the sportign world..He tried hard tocome back but in the end it seems it is severe

  • Test-Over-T20 on October 16, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    getgopi, sporting or manly to succumb to stress and anxiety? That is ridiculous, do you think he just gives in so easily? he has a serious problem with this and I think comments like that are extremely insensitive and unthoughtful, this is a mental condition we are talking about..

  • Hooves on October 16, 2009, 20:03 GMT

    I live abroad and have struggled, still do, and feel intensely uncomfortable sometimes. I question my worth, i feel stupid because my grasp of the laungauge remains fairly basic, and sometimes these feelings get quite on top of me. Smoking goes up. Hair seems to fallout, I'm 31 so notice this quite quickly, but i always walk out the door in the morning. I assume this journalist hit the mark where he mentioned about the vast array of comments that will be passed in the public domain, in the media, in the pubs, on the streets, and latterly, in the blogosphere, so i can only guess this must ramp the whole thing up for Tressie. Although he has seldom failed for club or country, not by the standards of his peers. Frustrating.

  • getgopi on October 16, 2009, 18:37 GMT

    I know Marcus is a talented batsman. But if he has issues...if he cannot be there for his team...

    I don't know. It just doesn't sound very sporting or even manly to succumb to stress and anxiety just like that.

  • SaiBharadwaj on October 16, 2009, 18:26 GMT

    I think I'll buy his book. It's almost similar (but, not that much) position am in most times. I just wonder what might be the solution for this?

  • andya0619 on October 16, 2009, 18:19 GMT

    There is no need to criticize trescothick. But there is no need to make him out to be a hero either. I was a big fan of his and I always believe that he was an integral part of england's success. But a part of being an international sportsman or an artist is that you have the power to ease the troubles of millions around you who may not have the luxuries of being treated for disorders like depressions. It is an honor of the highest order and the scrutiny and pressure that comes with it is a part of the deal. I find it extremely difficult to relate to such disorders trumping the honor of representing your country in sports. and because i cant fathom it i dont criticize him. But at the same time i do not believe there is anything applause worthy here either. having stayed in a foreign country alone for 5 years, for the sake of a career and having endured plenty of troubling times, i cannot understand this homesickness of someone who has to travel for a couple of weeks here and there!!

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  • andya0619 on October 16, 2009, 18:19 GMT

    There is no need to criticize trescothick. But there is no need to make him out to be a hero either. I was a big fan of his and I always believe that he was an integral part of england's success. But a part of being an international sportsman or an artist is that you have the power to ease the troubles of millions around you who may not have the luxuries of being treated for disorders like depressions. It is an honor of the highest order and the scrutiny and pressure that comes with it is a part of the deal. I find it extremely difficult to relate to such disorders trumping the honor of representing your country in sports. and because i cant fathom it i dont criticize him. But at the same time i do not believe there is anything applause worthy here either. having stayed in a foreign country alone for 5 years, for the sake of a career and having endured plenty of troubling times, i cannot understand this homesickness of someone who has to travel for a couple of weeks here and there!!

  • SaiBharadwaj on October 16, 2009, 18:26 GMT

    I think I'll buy his book. It's almost similar (but, not that much) position am in most times. I just wonder what might be the solution for this?

  • getgopi on October 16, 2009, 18:37 GMT

    I know Marcus is a talented batsman. But if he has issues...if he cannot be there for his team...

    I don't know. It just doesn't sound very sporting or even manly to succumb to stress and anxiety just like that.

  • Hooves on October 16, 2009, 20:03 GMT

    I live abroad and have struggled, still do, and feel intensely uncomfortable sometimes. I question my worth, i feel stupid because my grasp of the laungauge remains fairly basic, and sometimes these feelings get quite on top of me. Smoking goes up. Hair seems to fallout, I'm 31 so notice this quite quickly, but i always walk out the door in the morning. I assume this journalist hit the mark where he mentioned about the vast array of comments that will be passed in the public domain, in the media, in the pubs, on the streets, and latterly, in the blogosphere, so i can only guess this must ramp the whole thing up for Tressie. Although he has seldom failed for club or country, not by the standards of his peers. Frustrating.

  • Test-Over-T20 on October 16, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    getgopi, sporting or manly to succumb to stress and anxiety? That is ridiculous, do you think he just gives in so easily? he has a serious problem with this and I think comments like that are extremely insensitive and unthoughtful, this is a mental condition we are talking about..

  • since7 on October 16, 2009, 20:43 GMT

    In sports where "machismo" is unduly celebrated and people who put up brave faces infront of the media and the public,though they might be struggling to fight the demons within,marcus must be applauded for being so open..The problem is that majority of the public have a prejudice that "depression' is a sign of weak will and timidity..but its much more than that..It has taken long for people to realise that and will even take more time to enter the sportign world..He tried hard tocome back but in the end it seems it is severe

  • since7 on October 16, 2009, 20:47 GMT

    well,we the fans dont have even an iota of information about his real problem..So,i feel its better to avoid gross stereotyping..Depression and such severe psychological issues stand apart the glory and the committment to a particular sport..afterall,they are humans too and they have many things to think abouit apart from the game they play..Its unfair to expect them to think only from the cricketing perspective

  • Partyman on October 16, 2009, 21:02 GMT

    get gobi - call me oblivious or ignorant, I just don't get your comment. Can you please define "manly" please?

  • RichP on October 16, 2009, 21:21 GMT

    I feel I should respond to a few of the comments below. Suffering from a stress related illness has nothing to do with how "manly" you are and certainly nothing at all to do with how sporting you are. It's an illness. Is someone who has asthma unsporting or somehow not manly??

    Just because its an illness that you can't see or easily measure it doesn't mean that its not as debilitating as any other illness. In some respects it can be more difficult to deal with as it stops you from doing everything you want to do, but nothing to show for it.

    Illnesses such as these are often misunderstood, and the situation is not helped by some people playing the system and saying they are "stressed" when they are merely having a bad or hard day. They are two very different things.

    Ok maybe Marcus shouldn't be hailed as a hero, but he is someone that should be respected as an excellent and talented cricketer that is battling hard to overcome his difficulties.

    Marcus - I hope you feel better soon!

  • alexbrowne on October 16, 2009, 22:01 GMT

    "Mental illnesses manifest themselves in many ways, but the afflicted often talk of hearing hostile and controlling voices that commentate on everything that they say and do." Wasn't that just when they miked him up to the commentators during the first two CLT20 matches?

    In all seriousness, this is a well balanced article. I think it is impossible for most people to imagine Tresco's situation without experiencing it, but from all the stories it appears a very serious condition and you have to respect him for trying to confront it.