Trescothick flies home from India
Marcus Trescothick has had to fly home from Somerset's Champions League campaign in India after a recurrence of his stress-related illness. He will play no further part in the event, even though Somerset have qualified for the second round of the campaign.
His latest setback occurred on the morning after Somerset's defeat to Trinidad & Tobago, a result that left their progression from the group stages hanging on the result of Trinidad's subsequent encounter with Deccan Chargers. He approached Somerset's director of cricket, Brian Rose, with his misgivings, and given his previous history of depression, the decision was immediately taken to fly him home.
"Marcus has made a great effort to travel to India," Rose said in a statement on the club website. "Regrettably it has not worked out for him and he has travelled back to England to rejoin his family. The club and all his team mates have fully appreciated this effort and personal commitment and look forward to further success on his behalf."
Somerset coach Mark Robinson appreciated Trescothick for his honesty and added that the batsman took a very quick decision to return.
"He came up to me after the second game and did confide that he wasn't giving 100%," he told the Wisden Cricketer. "He didn't feel mentally right to carry on and it would affect our performance. He said, 'look, I'm only firing at 60 to 70%'. I think that was a very honest appraisal and as a cricket director, a captain or a coach you have to sit down and discuss what you want to do, and you come to the obvious conclusion that the best thing is for him to go home."
Up until that point, Trescothick's first overseas campaign for three years had been a qualified success. Though he managed only 17 runs in two innings, he nevertheless played his part in the thrilling one-wicket win over the IPL champions, Deccan Chargers, and appeared happy and settled in the squad. His wife Hayley accompanied him on the trip, after plans for him to commute in and out of India from a base in Dubai had fallen through for logistical reasons.
All the same, Robinson said the club had prepared themselves for the possibility of a pull-out in case the symptoms recurred. "Actually I accompanied Marcus and Hayley on the plane coming out to India and he was absolutely fine. We came out four days after the team arrived and we had a good time and a very good chat. I think with a past history you always get the feeling that yes, it might happen."
Trescothick has been named as Justin Langer's successor as Somerset campaign next season, and was named as the PCA Player of the Year for 2009 after racking up 1817 first-class runs at 75 for the season, to help Somerset to a third-place finish in the First Division.
In total he scored eight hundreds during the Championship season and produced the best innings of Twenty20 Finals day, a 27-ball half-century in Somerset's semi-final victory over Kent at Edgbaston - the match that guaranteed their participation in this competition.
His illness first occurred during England's tour of India in February 2006, then reoccurred at the start of the Ashes campaign in Australia in November. In early 2008 he pulled out of a pre-season tour to Dubai after breaking down at Heathrow Airport, after which he formally announced his retirement from international cricket in March 2008.
Prior to the Champions League, Trescothick had spoken of his pride at taking part in an unprecedented venture alongside his Somerset team-mates, but nevertheless warned of the dangers. "I know the risk and I know what happens when it goes wrong," he told BBC World Service. "I can only try. It's a big competition for the players and for the club. I have got to try and make it happen."
As recently as August, Trescothick was being mentioned in dispatches as a possible replacement for Ravi Bopara in the Ashes decider at The Oval, but this latest set-back will surely bring an end to all speculation about the end of his international retirement. There seems little prospect, either, of Trescothick returning to India at a later stage of the competition, should Somerset progress to the knock-out stages.
"Of course we'll miss him, he's a great player," Rose told the BBC. "But I don't think his future with Somerset will be affected in any way, shape or form. He'll be a great player for us in years to come, but perhaps we now know it'll be a black-and-white situation when it comes to playing abroad."