'Stresscothick' quits from international cri

Published: Sunday, March 23, 2008, 3:44 [IST]
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London: Marcus Trescothick retired Saturday from international cricket, the England batsman's county Somerset announced.

His decision followed a recent withdrawal from the county's pre-season tour of the United Arab Emirates after suffering a recurrence of the stress-related illness which cut short his England career.

"I have tried on numerous occasions to make it back to the international stage and it has proved a lot more difficult than I expected," Trescothick, a veteran of 76 Tests and 123 one-day internationals, said in a statement issued by Somerset, the only county he's represented since making his first-class debut in 1993.

He added: "I want to extend my playing career for as long as possible and I no longer want to put myself through the questions and demands that go with trying to return to the England team.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time playing for England, and I am very proud of having been selected for 76 Test matches and over 120 ODIs."

Trescothick, 32, had not played for England since 2006 after struggling with the effects of a stress-related illness which forced him to come home early from two tours.

He made his international debuts in both one-day and Test cricket in 2000, having caught the eye of national coach Duncan Fletcher in 1999 by making 167 for Somerset against Glamorgan when the Zimbabwean was in charge of the Welsh county.

A natural clean-striker and notably more attacking than many an England opener, the left-hander quickly cemented his place in the side.

In all he scored 5,825 Test runs at an average of 43.79 with 14 hundreds and a best of 219, against South Africa in 2003.

Unlike many of his England contemporaries, he also performed well in one-day internationals, scoring more than 4,300 runs at an average of over 37.

But his England career started to unravel when he came home early from the 2005/06 tour of India under a cloak of secrecy, citing personal problems before saying he'd quit because of a virus.

His departure was later put down to the effects of a stress-related illness.

After an indifferent home season, which saw him bowled for nought by Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar in a one-dayer at Southampton - in what turned out to be his final England international appearance - on September 5, 2006, it was announced Trescothick would miss the Champions Trophy tournament in India.

He was included in England's squad for the 2006/07 Ashes tour of Australia but was home before the first Test after his illness struck again.

Trescothick returned to action with Somerset in 2007 and hopes of an England comeback were raised when he was included in the provisional 30-man squad for last year's inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa.

But he never made the cut for the final party.

His international retirement comes at a time when England are struggling to for a successful opening partnership although his move may make life easier for the selectors who will not now have to worry about a Trescothick 'comeback'.

Paul Collingwood, a longstanding England team-mate of the Somerset star, told Sky Sports before the start of the second day's play in the third and final Test against New Zealand in Napier: "He was a great team man and a great talent in both forms of the game. He's been a big loss but if this helps him get better, then it's the right decision."

Any chance Trescothock had of playing for England again all but evaporated following his decision last week to pull out of Somerset's trip to Dubai before Saturday's statement marked a sad end to a fine international career.

"I now think that it is in the best interests of all concerned that the issue is put to rest so that the England team can concentrate on moving forward, and I can concentrate all my efforts on playing well for Somerset," Trescothick added.

"It is a very big season for the club and I am looking forward very much to playing a full part."


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