Peter David Trego
June 12, 1981, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
Tregs, Darcy, Pedro Tregos
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
Peter Trego might be remembered as one of the best players of his era not to represent England. In Somerset, they will just prefer to extol him as a cult hero. Trego was an original, a cricketer of character, and such was his niche appeal that he even had a cricket bat designed in his honour, with the tattoos that covered his arms - birds, dice and a candy skull - used as motifs on the blade.
For the Somerset supporters who have treasured him, it is disturbing to consider that he was almost lost to the sport. An allrounder capable of destroying bowling on his day and a canny seamer who more than compensates in skill what he lacks pace, he abandoned cricket for a couple of years to play semi-professional football instead.
Trego followed in a long-tradition of big-hitting all-rounders at Taunton that includes the likes of Arthur Wellard, Ian Blackwell and Ian Botham. With one murderous innings, he disproved the suggestion by the comedian John Cleese, among others, that nothing worthwhile had ever come out of the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare. If his stand-out performance was a 54-ball century he thrashed against Yorkshire in 2009 to help Somerset chase 476 to win at Taunton - Trego called it "the innings of his life" - there have been many other days when success was more due to discipline, commitment and skill.
Somerset born and bred, Trego first appeared for the club's second XI in 1997 and, having represented England U19 with some success, made his county first team debut in 2000. But while there were good days - in 2002 he made 140 in a tied match against West Indies A - it took some time for him to understand how best to exploit his abundant natural talents and he drifted out of the professional game at the end of 2002 aged only 22. A career that promised much looked as if it might be over before it had begun.
While he tried his luck elsewhere - he made occasional appearances for Kent, Middlesex and Worcestershire second XI - it seemed, for a while, as if cricket might lose him to football. He spent the 2004-05 season playing for Margate as a goalkeeper and also had spells at Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon Town and Chippenham Town. Twice he scored goals from his own half when taking free-kicks. "I was signed by Somerset when I was 15 and straight out of school," Trego told ESPNcricinfo in 2012. "They give you your kit and your bats and you feel fantastic. But that was all taken away from me when I was 23. After that I had to scrap for a job and it made me realise how much the game meant to me. Once you have had to fight to get something back, you are much less likely to let it slip away again."
Returning to Somerset at the start of 2006, Trego started to fulfil his promise. He thumped 135 against Derbyshire - one of three centuries that season - and a year later was judged the leading all-rounder in county cricket after 836 runs at 52.25 and 33 wickets at 34.27. He represented England in the Hong Kong Sixes in 2009, thrashed 147 from just 89 balls against Glamorgan in 2010 and was the PCA's most valuable player of the 2012 season. He could consider himself unfortunate not to force himself into the England ODI team after his 2013 season. England Lions took a look in 2010, and he performed respectably, but they never looked again. He averaged 30 with the bat and the ball and in one match against West Indies A he made 73 from 55 and took 5 for 40, but that was as close he ever got. For him not to get a T20 cap seemed particularly unfortunate.
If England were not interested, a host of domestic teams were. Trego has spent winters in New Zealand, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and performed with distinction each time.
When he made a Championship-best 154 against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 2016, in a county-record eighth-wicket stand of 236 with Ryan Davies, he bemoaned the fact that it was only his 15th first-class hundred. He had always lived life; at 35, he was beginning to contemplate it too.
The fact he was such a natural limited-overs cricketer did not dissuade him from condemning the deteriorating behaviour of county fans at Twenty20. Trolled on social media after Somerset lost to Glamorgan by a single run, Trego sounded a warning that the game had reached a crossroads: "When it gets to what I would call football hooligan abuse level, I just think, is that really what we want for the future of our cricket?" he asked. "I know T20 brings in a lot of money, a lot of revenue, a lot of excitement. But it's also bringing in a lot of idiots to the game."
He left Somerset at the end of 2019 after losing his first-team place in both the Championship and the Blast but was given an opportunity to mentor some young allrounders at Nottinghamshire, and made 31 off 21 on his T20 debut for the club to help them win the 2020 Blast final. He announced his retirement at the end of the 2021 summer.
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