Marcus first casualty of cricket~~s greed: Boycs

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Marcus Trescothick is the first casualty of cricket's never-quenching thirst for money and it is just the beginning of the saga with more cricketers likely to end up like the England opener, warned former captain Geoffrey Boycott.

''Marcus Trescothick left the Ashes tour yesterday due to stress but if you think this is a one-off then think again. It is just the beginning -- more players will crack up in the future,'' Boycott wrote in his Daily Telegraph column.

The cricketer-turned-commentator feels cricket administrators around the world know the solution but they would not oblige.

''There is a quick and easy way of stopping this happening but it would involve the game's administrators taking the one step that they dread - cutting back on the amount of international cricket."

''Sadly the game is led by people with one thing on their minds - making lots of money. They are no doubt well-meaning people who love the game, but they lack one quality - the experience of playing at the top level,'' Boycott observed.

''International cricket brings in millions of pounds and there is no way the game's administrators will stop their money-grabbing ways.

''It means players are being worked into the ground and the burden of playing non-stop cricket is taking its toll,'' he rued.

Sympathising with Trescothick and the English side touring Australia, Boycott said, ''Trescothick has clearly had enough and needs to get away from all the pressure. I really feel for the lad and it is sad for him and for England.

Don't think this will not hurt England, because it will. This is a massive setback for them at this stage of an Ashes tour to Australia and means a young lad like Alastair Cook has to step up into a crucial position.

''I know what Trescothick is going through at the moment because for three years I opted out of playing for England. I was being split between Yorkshire and England and, in the end, it all got too much for me,'' he recalled.

''When you are suffering from stress, you just want to run away.

You can't face the pressure any more and you need to escape. It is not like a broken leg or a bloody nose. There are no external symptoms and nobody can see your suffering. It is a silent illness.

''Some people can handle it but Marcus is clearly a sensitive lad and it has got too much for him,'' he said.

On handling stress, Boycott said, ''In the past you would get away from it all by playing county cricket, which was fun. You would be back with your mates, you would have a laugh and relax a bit.

''The modern player doesn't play county cricket. It has been replaced by an endless round of international matches, so they don't get a chance to unwind,'' he explained.

''Jacques Kallis said recently that there was too much cricket played for there to be a genuinely great modern all-rounder - a player who can bat and bowl in both forms of the game. He's right,'' the Yorkshire great remarked.

Elaborating further, Boycott said, ''During my career I only played 36 one-day internationals over the course of 25 years. I bet England players play that many one-day games this year. It is crazy.

Inzamam-ul-Haq has played more than 362 one-dayers - that is a whole year of his life playing one-day cricket. Madness.'' And the madness would inevitably result in more and more players going Trescothick way, fears the former batting great.

''Well it can't go on and the result is that we will see more players suffer from the same problems as Marcus Trescothick,'' he added.


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