Marcus Trescothick’s international retirement

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There’s no point dwelling on it, because he’s never going to play for England again, but there’s a fair chance that Marcus Trescothick is still England’s best batsman. Kevin Pietersen’s record may look a little better, but he doesn’t have to face the new ball.

Marcus Trescothick was so good we invented a word for him. We called him a ‘beeftain‘. That reflects how important we feel he was. He scored huge amounts of runs in all forms of the game and he did it in a way that scares the opposition.

It’s unquantifiable, but that ability to impose himself on bowlers is what’s missing from the current England team. A fifty from Alastair Cook ends as soon as he loses his wicket, but a fifty from Marcus Trescothick sometimes reverberated for overs, sessions or even days afterwards. Arguably his most influential innings was his 90 in the dizzying Edgbaston Test of 2005.

We all know that England won that series, but it’s hard to express how unlikely that seemed after the Lord’s Test. There had been some encouraging signs from the bowlers, but England had been bowled out for 155 and 180. Australia were carrying on as they had been doing for years.

Ricky Ponting won the toss and put England in to bat. Glenn McGrath was missing and Marcus Trescothick went out of his way to point this out. By lunch he was 77 not out and it was clear that England’s batsmen needn’t be hell-bent on survival, they could dictate the terms themselves. Pietersen and Flintoff exemplified the reckless destruction best, but they were just carrying the baton that Trescothick had forged.

Trescothick could wheel out those ‘big hundreds‘ that England need so much right now as well. His two innings against Bangladesh prior to the 2005 Ashes had yielded 194 and 151, but he could do it against more formidable bowling too.

His Test best was 219 against South Africa after England had conceded 484. Normally you lose when you concede that many, but Trescothick helped England to 604 and even found time to thrash 69 not out off 66 balls on the final day to see England to a win.

The same opponents saw him compile 180 at Johannesburg in 2005 – in the second innings, no less. That innings is the forgotten prelude to Matthew Hoggard’s seven wickets on the final day that gave England a series victory.

And for a man who can no longer leave the country, his last Test tour wasn’t too shameful either. Two England batsmen passed fifty in Multan signalling a profound collective Ashes hangover. Ian Bell hit 71 as England countered Pakistan’s 274. Marcus Trescothick hit 193.

For his weight of runs, for how his aggression made opponents step back and for how he just stood still and popped balls to the boundary with his static, reinforced prod, we’ll miss Marcus Trescothick immensely.


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  1. I liked Trescothick. To me he exemplified the extent to which cricket can be a mental game, and I’m not referring to his stress-related illness. He was lucky to make the England side in the first place – his one-day record for Somerset was good, but his record in the Championship was nothing much better than average.

    But in England colours he knuckled down and he turned himself into a genuine Test-quality opener. His average for England is ten runs higher than his average for Somerset. I hope that Somerset fans will get to see that gap narrow a bit over the next couple of years.

  2. He did do a lot of whop bam a loom a bam a whop bam boo…

    And he did it playing proper cricket shots too.

    He was no slogger, but boy when he hit it, it stayed hit (whatever that means)

    Banger was a beauty,

  3. All this from a man who loves, nay, RESPECTS the mighty sausage, king of all grey meaty products.

    A beeftain indeed, and my favourite England batsman since Graham “Toast” Thorpe.

  4. My aim is to get a second cat and name it TrescothickCat, so that I have an opening partnership of indifferent yet cricketingly-named cats.

  5. Damn you Kingcricket – I spent *literally* hours trying to come up with a snappier name for Lemon Bella’s second cat and you’ve pipped me to it. I had Treskitty, Trescocat, Trescokit and, um, Meowcus Trescothick.

  6. If you’re really upset, you could just pretend that our suggestion was ‘Marcus Trescothick The Cat’.

    Denial of facts is a crucial skill in this day and age.

  7. Meowcus? Meowcus!

    That’s worse than my Softee pun. Miriam, YOU should fetch my coat!

    Best I could come up with was just Trescat.

  8. *sheepishly* I never said that my names for the second cat were any good. I’m not good at cat names, except for the cat we named Rambo.

  9. It’s official, I’m naming the as-yet-unidentified new cat Meowcus Trescattick.

    There, you can both be very proud.

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