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If only Banger was back...

Tom Fordyce | 14:13 UK time, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Any England cricket fan would have experienced mixed emotions at Tuesday's William Hill Sports Book of the Year Awards.

There would have been pleasure at watching Marcus Trescothick win the £20,000 prize for his autobiography Coming Back To Me, and just as much in seeing the former England opener with a big smile back on his Taunton chops.

After years battling the depression that ended his international career, Trescothick at last looked at peace as the champagne and canapés were raised in his direction (for the record, Banger left the cocktail sausages pretty much alone).

Yet, even as the applause rang round the room, the thought was inescapable: how the current England team could do with him back.

trescoblog02.jpg

It's a selfish thought, for sure. Trescothick's book deals in detail with the mental traumas brought on by playing and touring with the national side, and no-one could ever wish those back upon him.

At the same time, it's also an unavoidable one. What a difference a fit, happy Tresco could make to today's struggling line-up.

Since England are currently 4-0 down in the one-day series against India, let's look at the shorter form of the game first.

England's opening pair have struggled from the start of the current tour. Ian Bell is averaging 21, Matt Prior 15. Ravi Bopara, brought in for Sunday's defeat in Bangalore, made just one.

Bell now averages just 33 after 27 matches at the top of the order; Prior 25 from 28. Trescothick, in almost five times as many matches opening for England, averaged 37 - with 12 hundreds, four more than any other England player in history and twice as many as Kevin Pietersen.

Take into account the additional trial of playing on Indian soil and the difference becomes even more pronounced. Trescothick averaged 53 in one-dayers in India, compared to Bell's 23 and Prior's 24.

It wasn't just the runs, of course, but the way in which they were scored. Trescothick had a strike rate in India of over 100, the closest England have had to an Adam Gilchrist or Chris Gayle at the top of the order.

That aggression from the off, the ability to set the tempo and take control of the game, has been horribly missed ever since he retired.

Those of us who witnessed Bell and Michael Vaughan crabbing along during the last World Cup, when England managed to score just nine runs off the first eight overs of their must-win game against South Africa, are still having nightmares about it.

Then there's the Test arena.

Trescothick averaged just under 44 in the five-day game, and 48 in India - good numbers, but again, it was always about more than just cold stats.

Together with the ability to score quickly off the fast bowlers at the start of an innings was a softness of hands against the slow bowlers that suited him beautifully on the subcontinent.

Looking ahead to next summer, if there was any player from the 2005 Ashes that England could choose to have back at their best, Trescothick would arguably come above Vaughan and Steve Harmison, and only marginally behind Simon Jones.

It was Trescothick's aggression on the first morning of the second Test that seemed to convince England, already a match down, that they could actually take the Australians on and beat them.

We were used to seeing Australia score 50 off the first 10 overs, but not England. That opening stand of 112 with Andrew Strauss at Edgbaston set the tone for both the day (407 England runs by close of play) and the rest of the series.

Only Pietersen averaged more for the home side than Banger that summer. Vaughan finished with an average 11 runs poorer; Ian Bell 26 runs down.

Trescothick is still only 32 years old, two years younger than Vaughan and a year younger than Ricky Ponting. By rights he should be at his peak.

Instead, he'll see out the remainder of his playing days at his beloved Somerset, determined to never again be more than a car journey away from wife Hayley and daughters Ellie and Millie. England fans can yearn all they like. He's not coming back.

trescoblog01.jpg

Despite all that, it's impossible to begrudge him his decision to leave international cricket behind.

On the last England tour of India he collapsed in tears in the dressing-room, homesick to hell and a broken man.

"India's a fantastic place to play cricket," he said on Tuesday, "but I don't envy them being out there.

"There were a lot of things left uncovered for me throughout the two years of trying to deal with the illness, and it was definitely a very cathartic process writing this book.

"To write about it and get it all out in the open was great and to read it back was quite an amazing experience. This was my opportunity to tell exactly the story that me and my wife went through."

If only it had been a different story to tell.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    tres has been england's best player in both forms of the game through the last 20 years.his batting and catching are fantastic.missed by england,but glad he's at peace in somerset.

  • Comment number 2.

    LEGEND!

    Greatest England batsman of his generation! Yes, I said what you all know, but dare not say....

    Trescothick's greater than Pietersen!

  • Comment number 3.

    Hom much England are missing him at the moment! Watching Bell, Bopara and Prior scraping around at the top of the order is a far cry from the way Tresco really took on the bowlers.

    Really miss Trseco and Vaughan at their best, how England could do with that now!

  • Comment number 4.

    I agree with EaStMiDz, Trescothick has always been a great English player. I always thought that when he was up for batting England were in safe hands.

    I also agree that he is better than Pietersen, while Pietersen has style (undoubtely) Trescothick had substance...something we lack in the current teamsheet.

  • Comment number 5.

    Tres is a batsman to match anyone I have watched. As your article mentioned, his 90 odd before lunch on the first morning of the second Ashes Test in 2005 was just about the most impressive batting I have ever seen from an opener. Middle order batters are often the most glamorous but obtain their accolades from scoring freely when the ball is a few overs older. Tres stood down McGrath and Lee before dealing emphatically with Warne. Legend barely covers it.

    As a Somerset man I look forward to watching him for his county for many more years.

  • Comment number 6.

    I forgot to congratulate him on his book winning the award.

    I haven't read it yet but clearly it is more than a cut above the usual "fluffy" sporting autobiography. Sums the man up perfectly.

  • Comment number 7.

    Tresco was a player who Duncan Fletcher plucked out of nowhere and stuck with him. Instead of wishing he came back (though I'd be chuffed to bits if he did!), we need to do the same again. Find a batsmen with natural attacking instincts who has potential, throw in a bit of luck, good coaching and who knows, we might - just might - be able to replace Banger.

    I'd also like to add that what he went through, and the way he has faced it and come through it, is worthy of great respect. Despite the pressure to keep playing, the earning etc, he put himself and his family first.

  • Comment number 8.

    Tresco is a great man, he was a true professional and his stats reflected this. I cant tell you how much I miss him at the top of the order. I used to get so excited when it was our time to bat and Tresco would come out.
    Its great to here that he won this award. His experience is one of the saddest stories in modern day Englisj cricket. He could have undoubtedly gone on to break many records for England. I will never forget him.
    It brought a tear to my eye when he was at lords last summer talking on tms about his struggles.

  • Comment number 9.

    Banger is a legend! Vicious hitting coupled with great slight-of-hand and superb against spin would make him invaluable now, especially in India against their attack.

    However, it does mean that I get to see Tres and the BBC's very own JL open for Somerset next summer! What a superb day out that is! Is there a better opening partnership in county cricket?!

    Cider's up me thinks!

    A superb player and a big loss!

  • Comment number 10.

    LEGEND!!!

    Tresco must rank above the best England players ever. Unfortunately his career ended far far sooner than England needed but he is happy playing for Somerset so that's what's important for him.
    Surely all this talk about England needing his services now will put a quiet smile on his face. Congrats to him on the winning book, he deserves it!

  • Comment number 11.

    shedmanlarge - whilst i fully agree that was a great knock by Tres on the morning of the second test, i dont think he "stood down" McGrath - didnt he injure his ankle the morning of the test standing on a cricket ball and play no part?

  • Comment number 12.

    I just hope that there is no pressure put on Tresco to go back to plaing internations.

    Great though that might be from one perspective, there are things even more important than cricket.

    The ability to say, sorry, that's it, no more and have that respected is important.

    Great book, great player.

  • Comment number 13.

    I was actually at a school "team-building" day in Taunton and Tresco was there to help. He walked into the hall with a huge grin across his face and said "About 10 minutes ago I had a call asking me to play for England".

    Having watched him at Taunton since I was about 15 he was always going to make the grade and when he made that announcement you could tell he was as proud as could be. He actually had to leave to call his family cos we were pretty much the first people he'd told.

    Anyway, the thing that summed his game up best was his eye for the ball. His footwork was never great but it was simple, and he could hit a ball with such timing and power.

    On the England side of things, I think we've over complicated the game and as Boycott might say "Go back to basics!". Openers at the top, middle order in the middle and bowlers at the tail.

    Bell is barely an opener, and Prior and Bopara certainly aren't. I know Cook isn't aggressive enough for the limited overs game, but there are plenty of others who are.

    As for Tresco, I look forward to seeing him at Taunton again for a few more years to come. He was never given the credit he deserved, I believe, when he played and now he's absent, people realise what a great player he was.

  • Comment number 14.

    er.... get a grip - everyone saying he is a legend. Boycott, Gower, Gooch and Botham were legends. I didn't hear anyone going on about him before any of the tours. It's the usual lamentations and what if's after the horse has bolted from the media and the fans. Yes they won the Ashes ONCE with him but how many other times had he been found wanting at the very highest level. Quite a few. So whilst I am glad he has gotten over his "depression" at being away whilst representing his country, lets not get carried away...

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    I blame the ECB and England team management for Tresothick's mental breakdown during tours and eventual retirement from the internation arena. He deserved a lot more support than he was given in his time of need. What a great player, he is greatly missed in a England jersey.

  • Comment number 17.

    Him and Cook as test openers would be perfect. You'd have the aggression in Tres, with the steadiness in Cook.

  • Comment number 18.

    I must agree with # 14. Although Trescothick had some great moments, and I must add I fully respect his decision to stay away from international cricket for the sake of his health and his family, he cannot be considered in the same terms as Gooch, Edich or Boycott as far as opening batsmen are concerned. He might be a legend in keeping the family together, but not as far as cricket is concerned I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 19.

    Trescothick may not have achieved as much as the likes of Gooch did in a career, I am not going to call him a legend. But frankly I think the article is absolutely right – he would have walked into the England side in all forms of cricket in every series since he retired (assuming no drastic loss of form) and still would.

  • Comment number 20.

    RNB, I'm not disputing Sir Geoffrey's career record, the numbers are there. But the legend was actually dropped by the selectors for slow play, after making his highest-ever test score. He didn't walk into the side and make his place his own either, as Trescothick did. He also opted out from test cricket for three years pleading stress. As for Edrich, Tres's average is slightly better than his over 76 tests against 77, and in ODIs, 123 against 7. He also made more 100s and 50s. His average is better also than Gooch's in both forms of the game. GG made more centuries in tests, but in 42 more matches, and four fewer ODI hundreds in two more matches.

    Seems to me that if Tres is happy to play domestic cricket for Somerset, and travel all over the country in the process, it might be worth asking him if he fancies playing in home matches only.

  • Comment number 21.

    Tres would surely be England Captain of both Test and One Day cricket if he was in the team...

  • Comment number 22.

    I'll get a lot of criticism for this but I still think when it comes down to it Trescothick was too yellow to play international cricket for England.

    He wanted the cosy environment of Somerset, in front of a one man and his dog county crowd and an air of media indifference.

    He said it freaked him out when photographers took pictures of him at lunch. I mean get a grip. Footballers, actors, pop stars get the kind of attention england cricketers get x100.

    I don't have sympathy for him. It should be an honour and a pleasure to represent your country and if you can't hack it- good riddance.

  • Comment number 23.

    I am slightly bemused to say the least that a man who can make a living from playing an arcane ball game all year round, take several months out of England during our wretched winters in Australia, Wst Indies or South Africa should have anything whatsoever to complain about! I suppose the answer is read the book.

  • Comment number 24.

    Isn't it time we replaced like with like then at the top of the order?
    The man for the job is Rob Key. Pity a place couldn't be found for him in the one day squad given the success he has had with Kent these past two seasons. Fill-in, bit- part players are not the answer.
    The William Hill Sports Book of the Year is always a good read no matter what the sport. The Basil D'Oliveira biography was excellent stuff.

  • Comment number 25.

    I used to love watching him bat so much, and he was right up there as a talented England batsman and we do miss the dynamism and scoring power as it gave the team winning momentum and confidence.

    But as some people said he should be doing it way beyond his 30th birthday and for a longer period to be considered a truly England great.
    If he had won (yes some of it comes down to the team not winning not just him) every Ashes in his 6 yr international career then maybe his reputation and standing could overcome not playing beyond 30th birthday. But he didnt / the team didnt.

    I sympathise with his problems and glad he seems improved and is more comfortable, but cannot be called an England great because not being on the field for such a long period discounts him. Highly talented and highly missed, but no legend or great. I don't like saying it, but I think it is fair on balance.

    It's annoying because we need more success than just Ashes 2005, and with players like him we had more of a chance of doing something. But again we throw our chances away.

  • Comment number 26.

    Ahhh.... the delights, joy and sheer exhilaration of watching the great Marcus Telescopic on form, no Englishman has matched it since, not Shah, Bopara, Prior or any of the lesser mortals. He did it with STYLE and class as well as power..... Perhaps Luke Wright has the class and the power, and may yet have the confidence? Who can say? But we live in hope....

  • Comment number 27.

    #14 is good

  • Comment number 28.

    Havin read Marcus autobiography, I can honestly say that I have nothing but admiration for the lad. Englands best opener for a long time, possibly of all time. Tres with Vaughan or Strauss was always hard to deal with, and watching the England boys scratch around the crease in India is as hard as listening to nails being dragged across a chalk board. I can take some comfort in being a Somerset fan.

    Congrats on the award Bangar, you deserve it. Enjoy life with Hayley and the kids.

  • Comment number 29.

    Apologies for going off topic, but if anyone on here has any connections to the ECB or the team..... please can someone get KP to stop saying 'at the end of the day'!

    He fits it in at least 3 times in every post-match comment, driving me nuts, even worse than 'fantastic'.

  • Comment number 30.

    You know what.....the reason why England can't find a replacement for Tresco is that we pushed him before we had a chance to find someone like him.
    Cook isnt an opener in International cricket, we need someone else to open in Tresco's style and Strauss misses Tresco.
    I dont hate him at all for qutting, if his stress was going to break the guy that would be very hard on him and his family must come 1st.
    But England lost a legend in the making, all he will be remembered for will be the 2005 Ashes but could have been more had it beem different

  • Comment number 31.

    Anyone care to select a favourite Banger knock?

    I'm going to go for the first one-dayer against the Aussies in the summer of 2005. Aussies bat first and make 221 from their 50 overs, Tresco strolls out, creams 104 not out and sees England home with four overs to spare.

    Top-drawer international batting.

  • Comment number 32.

    His 180 v South Africa in the second innings of Jo'burg test in 2005 was right up there - he upped the pace exactly when England began to sense they could force a victory.

    Agree with the poster who said that England should ask him to play home Tests only. Seem to remember Dennis Bergkamp was excused long distance trips due to his fear of flying... why not Tresco due to his fear of, er, long distance trips?

  • Comment number 33.

    Great player, sadly missed. England badly need someone with Tresco's poise and determination at the top of the order. I'm not sure what more Rob Key needs to do to impress the selectors? Bell out.

  • Comment number 34.

    #31:

    Sorry to be a pedant, but I think that was the second or third meeting between England and Australia that summer. Wasn't the first when KP saw us home with 91*


    Excellent player though he was for England, I hardly think he can be considered a legend. Perhaps if he hadn't been robbed of his prime years by this illness, he might have become a legend. It's such a shame he never got that chance. It's good to hear that he's happy with life though.

  • Comment number 35.

    Tresco's best knock was his 80 odd in 50 balls in an ODI against Pakistan with Shoaib and Sami bowling at 95mph at the Oval.

    He showed such utter contempt for the 2 quickest bowlers in the world on what is one of the quickest and bounciest pitches in England. Just sheer brilliance!

  • Comment number 36.

    Don't know if Rob Key is the answer either to be honest. 15 tests at an average barely over 30 - I don't think he's got it to be honest - he had his chance. I know he's performing ok at county level - but then so is Ramps - do we then bring him back (he clearly fell short as did Hick at international level).

    The issue is not about Ramps or Trescothick - the issue is why a country with the population that England has, struggles to produce the quantity and quality of players that Australia does time after time.

    There is more money than ever in the game - like football - but the money is not being used or channeled in the right direction. The current players want the big bucks - meaty central contracts, the IPL etc - it's a shame they confuse the size of their pay packets with the size of their talent (at this moment in time).

  • Comment number 37.

    Trescothick was a good player.

    England do have the right player - Flintoff

  • Comment number 38.

    My favourite Tresco innings has to be his 219 against SA in the final test at the Oval. With a win needed to level the series, after SA put on 484 for their first innings, Tresco helped us to 604 and we did eventually win that test.

  • Comment number 39.

    What makes Marcus a special cricketer/sportsperson, is the fact that he chose to deal with his condition, instead of shoving things under a carpet. The sporting world is extremely lucrative and more often than not, it is material greed that makes people want to prolong their careers. But Marcus has proved their is more to life and spiritual peace counts for more than lucrative contracts. In a recession hit world, there is a lesson to be learnt here! I am sure his book will be an exceptional/unique read. Thank you Marcus for sharing your experiences.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think Tresco was a good player, better than most players in his X1. But I'm dissappointed to see this exxaggerated baloney from Fordyce- seems like adulations are sold for cheap just around the corner.

    Tresco will probably not appear among the Top 10 or Top 25 or Top 50 of the greatest players of all time.

    And probably will not even feature among the tiop 25 players of his generation.

    However, he wa s good honest player in his own right. England don't need Tresco, they need to look into the future not the past.

  • Comment number 41.

    Trescothick is truly a great batsman and a superb and safe fielder. He was surely Englands answer to Gilly, Gayles and Sehwags in the one day format for his pure brilliance and the way he attacked the bowlers with authentic cricketing shots. Even in the test match arena, he gave much stability to the England batting.
    I have no shadow of doubt that Trescothick was a better batsman than Vaughan and Pietersen, primarily because of the way he dominated the opposition bowling and also his ability to play the attacking and the waiting game. I personally think Trescothick was what Hayden is currently for the Australians.
    I have watched him play for Somerset and also saw his innings of 184 recently in Pro 40 match and am so disappointed that he is no longer playing international cricket coz as a cricket lover it was pure pleasure watching him bat.
    Anyway its a sensible decision on the part of his family and him and would like to thank him for the memories and wish him the best of luck for his future.

  • Comment number 42.

    There was an astonishing innings in Johannesburg in 2005 when England's only hope of a win was to score a lot of runs on the fourth evening and fifth morning, then declare and hope to take 10 wickets in two sessions.

    Trescothick hit Pollock, Ntini and co to every corner of the Wanderers in a big run-a-ball century on a pitch of uneven bounce. It was astonishing, and when Hoggard then ran through the South Africans we realised how difficult batting had become.

    The desperate attempts of our opening batsmen in India at the moment to score quickly put Trescothick's skills into sharp focus right now. Surely there will be another like him soon?

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    "tres should never play for england again. he lacks any sort of bottle and is only comfortable playing at home. he has a serious problem on tour and cant stay away from his family for a short period of time. whimp!"

    That comment is not only stupid, it is highly disrespectful.
    It's nothing to do with "bottle", it is a mental illness, and Banger did the right thing by stepping down to deal with it.
    In fact, he showed true courage by putting himself and family before his career - he could have made a lot more money if he'd swept everything under the carpet but he chose health and family - so fair play to him.

    And for you to call him a "whimp" (wimp btw!) is astoundingly idiotic.

    Grow up and show some respect for a cracking cricketer, and even better family man.

    Fair play Banger, good luck for the future mate!

  • Comment number 45.

    Did Tresco mention his wife in his book and how supportive she has been over the years!

  • Comment number 46.

    Trescothick will only ever be a potential legend for me ... he just didn't play long enough to earn that accolade.

    However, what I really wanted to say was ... shame on all those people who dismiss depression as a "lack of bottle" or put "depression" in inverted commas.

    This is not someone who just couldn't deal with being away from home, this is a man who suffered a genuine and debilitating mental illness which can strike anyone of any age regardless of what they do for a living.

    If you don't have any understanding of what it is and what it can do to an individual and their family then you have no business commenting on how that individual chose to deal with it.

  • Comment number 47.

    Imagine, The shivers that would be sent down india's spine, hearing of Tresco's return............... Just Imagine. I know it wont happen. Takes a man to say "NO". I got nothing but admiration & respect for the guy. India can count their lucky stars.

  • Comment number 48.

    Trecothick's way of getting England going off the mark should be both admired and watched by the current side. While his lack of foot movement was compensated by an exceptional eye it should be learnt from! With prior, kp etc constantly trying to walk all over the crease to try and put off the bowler, but instead managing to miss the ball and getting bowled - how about trying the trescothick method of standing still watching the ball and hitting it!!

    No. 41 I two was at Taunton for Trecothick's 184 this summer and he was simply a different class to anyone else on the field, I remember feeling particually sorry for one of the opening bowlers he slapped into the boundry fence 5 or 6 times in one over with utter contempt.

    No.43 You're attitude towards his illness is narrow minded immature and sadly probably the reason he is no longer playing International Cricket. If we had a greater understanding of mental illness and it wasn't frowned upon as much as sadly it is (by mindless idiots such as no.43) then I feel more support could have been found for Tresco at an earlier stage and perhaps he could have learnt to deal with it, instead of it escalating and becoming unbearable.

    The thought of him playing again for Engalnd is sadly just a dream but whenever taunton are playing on tv I watch purely to watch him bat

  • Comment number 49.

    no 7,Theworkgeordie,
    Y'areet man?
    Ah think what fordyce wants te syah is tha there's neebody leik tha aroond anymore, like! ne-one English-qualified can score leik Tres could, that's why aal these coonties hev got Sooth Africans in fre the T20 coop.

  • Comment number 50.

    From a SriLankan...And you know the kinda batsmen we have seen and produced over the years..unmatched

    However...Trescothick was a class act...and its absolutely sad that a rare talent like his & that too from England had to come to a pre-mature end

    He was the kinda guy that stood upto Opposition all over the world when his colleagues couldnt do so

    His last odi 100 was against us i guess

    And for those who say he isnt good as boycott etc...absolute rubbish..i'm not sure what people like Boycott did to improve the game...this guy along with the bothams, flintoffs, KPs are the best English talents eva produced

    So long live Mr Tres....i know whateva he has gone through is a cruel piece of shit..that i pray shoulnt come to any body else.

  • Comment number 51.

    footballcasanova - you say sri lankan batmen - unmatched. I take it you are kidding haha.

    Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar are 3 that spring to mind. I rate no Sri Lankan batsmen ever above them.

    #46 I have as much right to comment as you on any subject.

  • Comment number 52.

    I wonder if Tres could come back for the home Ashes series and Sri/WI in 2009.
    Would anyone support that?

  • Comment number 53.

    I thnik his time has come and gone to be honest - he would be setting himself up for a massive fall if it didn't work out. The media circus would be horrendous - they would support him and build him up one minute then knock him down in the blink of an eyelid when they are looking for their scapegoat and headlines. Shame really. England need to get rid of Collingwood and get a decent wicket keeper as well for starters.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Tresco was a very good opener in both forms of the game. We certainly could have done with him in the World Cup with those short boundaries. I remember seeing him play on the sub-continent for the first time and to begin with he struggled against the spinners. But what really impressed me was the way he learnt how to play them during the tour, becoming one of England's best players of spin. That ability to learn from his mistakes, and adapt his game showed what a good player he was.

  • Comment number 56.


    #38, I remember his 2nd inns in that match as well. Chasing a small total, he came out and batted like Graham Gooch for another 70 odd not out.

    I think that Oval match in 2003 was a turning point in England's history, as it was follwed by W Indies away win, and Clean sweep 2004.

    You can't put a value on that 219 and 70 n.o

  • Comment number 57.

    no londonwurzel im 29 and its a valid ponit. idiot. he wont play away for eng again. fact

  • Comment number 58.

    the only problem with that 184 was the team lost.
    he would not care what he scores as long as the team won.
    does anyone know who he was competing for the england spot is and what he is doing now.

  • Comment number 59.

    Tescothick was sooo underrrated by so many while he was playing international cricket. "He never moves his feet" they would say.

    Never mind the feet, look at the scorecard. Only 4 or 5 players reached 5000 test runs in fewer matches. A tremendous player.

    He could earn a fortune in the IPL, were he not ill.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think perhaps people are getting carried away with the term "greatest". But there can be little doubt that tresco was a fine england player and the best opener we have had since Athers. He was uncomplicated and powerful, a joy to watch, though perhaps a little suspect outside offstump if the ball was moving about.
    It is fair to say that he would be in the
    England side in both forms of the game and would be a vital player. He is sorely missed and anyone being flipant about his depression should probably just keep quiet, i'm sure any man who loves cricket would not make up a depression to get out of playing it, he clearly suffered and for a long time because he cherished playing for his country and that kind of personal sacrifice should be commended and not mocked.
    Finally, #30, clarify your statement "Cook is not an opener in international cricket"? You may well be right in one dayers, but in his defence he has hardly had a long run in the team, unlike Bell and Prior. Also lets not forget that he slapped Australians all round the ground for over 200 in 2005 at more than a run a ball, so i think he may have it in him. And if you mean in tests, then you are clearly delusional, he averages nearly 43, has broken a number of records for the youngest player to score 2000 runs and to get to a number of centuries etc, and he is still only 23, i think he is with out doubt and international opener and will be a vital player for england for years to come.
    Back to Tresco, fine player, brave man.

  • Comment number 62.

    Depression is not a joke.

    Have some respect.

    Family should always more important than work - even when you are an England Cricketer.

    I refused a high profile career in my line of work that involved a lot of international travel and time away from home.

    I now work from home and love it. I get to listen to all the test matches on the radio for one!



  • Comment number 63.

    Im not sure with over the top phrases like legend mean anything. If you want to look at the present England side be it ODI or Test there is every chance he would be playing.

    In some respects its only his absence that has seen him truly appreciated. My recollection is that he seemed to get a fair bit of criticism, notably from Mike Selvey in the Guardian, about how he was effectively bomb proof regardless of his form.

    Bottom line he made a choice that was right for him. Given his position and the media intrusion that would obviously follow it was a brave choice. Cricket is strewn with players who have suffered from depression and the level of suicides among former cricketers is, as I recall, very high compared against the rest of society from Harold Gimblett to David Bairstow.

    I wish Marcus a happy and fulfilled future.

  • Comment number 64.

    There are some uncompassionate idiots on here who dont really have a total grasp on reality. Item 14 - twaddle and item 22 well this bloke is truelya pillock who doesnt know too much about the game of cricket or what mental illness of any description can do - Tres has stood up against the best fast bowlers of his era, many who are mentioned in other comments, and scored runs. He most certainly isnt YELLOW!

    I am caught between stools for this one because as a Somerset fan i am more than happy that he is back playing full time for us and putting the county bowlers to the sword. That said i firmly miss him in England colours both because of the runs he scored but also for the way he played the game - when he had his eye in there werent many attacks that could cope.

    As for a legend - he is to me but as you might guess from my username, i am biased. he has certainly been the greatest England batsmen of the past 7/8 years and im pretty sure his record over that period stacks up against most around from other countries. Without illness he would have played at least another 5 years test cricket and probably would have scored around the same number of test runs (or more) as Gooch and Boycott, especially as most of this time would have been his prime.

    Thankfully the majority of contributors on here recognise both his ability and the way he has confronted his illness - i guess these comments represent our society in general as you will always find a few idiots who engage their mouth before their brain (assuming they have much of one!).

    He is probably too much of a man to take up the offer if it was made, but i think he should be playing in home series regardless of whether he is prepared to tour or not. I guess the only time we will see him in a big game at Lords from now on is when he next appears for his (and my) beloved Somerset in a major final!

    I look forward to at least another 10,000 runs for Somerset before he retires. All the best Tres.

  • Comment number 65.

    Ref my post 64 - Only Hayden and Ponting scored a lot more test runs than Tres from 2000 to 2006. he was pretty much on a par with Lara, Kallis and Langer and scored more than Tendulkar, Dravid, Sangakara, Inzy etc over the period. This certainly shows the quality of the man and adds weight to the potential legend" tag. Especially as the majority of his runs were made in England and not on the flat pitches of the sub continent!

    Hopefully this will help the misinformed on how big a contribution he has made in Test cricket and how much he will be missed.

  • Comment number 66.

    Re 43 and 57

    He has a mental illness and you call it lacking bottle. You must be so proud of that comment. Well done. And you say you are 29. Good grief.

 

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