Cricket: Boy who faded in a man's world - Sport - The Independent

Cricket: Boy who faded in a man's world

Stephen Fay discovers Marcus Trescothick is battling for success

MARCUS TRESCOTHICK behaves like an even-tempered cricketer. Despite having one of the longest names in the business, he obliged all the autograph hunters at Chelmsford last week. He must be responsible as well, having been appointed vice-captain of Somerset aged 23. But he does get cross about the way the England Under-19 selectors keep on picking players who he believes would be better employed learning their trade on the county circuit.

The ECB tells us that the success of the Under-19 team shows what is right about English cricket. Trescothick, on the contrary, thinks this series against Australia's tyro cricketers is a pest and a distraction. Somerset's Matthew Bulbeck is the focus of his discontent. "We're losing him for three games this year. It's just a joke. We shouldn't stand in the way of letting him play the best cricket possible."

Trescothick speaks from experience. "I went through exactly the same situation. It was just a disgrace." No one thought so at the time, when he and Michael Vaughan of Yorkshire were piling up hundreds of runs opening for the Under-19s. Trescothick's 206 in 233 balls against India in 1994 was described in awed tones. "I was pretty naive at that age: 'Watch the ball. Hit it for four.' I was on top of the world, and I played county cricket without knowing what it was about."

He was impressive to watch, but his carefree batting cloaked a failing that was soon exposed by bowling in the adult game. His problem was that he did not move his feet. He became a regular in the Somerset team when he was 18, and in the long summers in Taunton, Trescothick experienced the pressure of playing day in, day out. "You start to think about it a bit more."

He started thinking four years ago, and he still has not worked it out. As for Under-19 cricket, it is just a memory now: "Played it, enjoyed it, and moved on."

Trescothick was born in Keynsham, in Somerset, and the burr is still distinct in his voice. He is a lanky 6ft 2in; red-cheeked, skin drawn tight over the bones. He was feeling a bit sorry for himself at Chelmsford having got out for a duck in Somerset's second innings. He has managed his highest score in first-class cricket this summer (190), but he has had a couple of niggling injuries which have kept him out of two of Somerset's four NatWest games. (He scored 38 and 29 when he did play.) His present county average of 26.31 is slightly lower than his career first-class average of 27.95.

Trescothick is conscious of having underachieved. He says he has been working harder this year than ever before. Much of this summer's work has been in the nets. "I have a lot of enthusiasm for the game, but it is hard to pick yourself up when things don't go right. I am down at the moment, but you build yourself up for the next game, or you don't go far."

Jamie Cox, Somerset's laudable Tasmanian captain, is an admirer, though with one qualification. "Marcus is a phenomenal talent; he's as clean a striker of the ball as we've got in our club, but he has a couple of technical things to sort out. His feet are very one-dimensional. They tend to go straight down the wicket rather than to the ball. It makes him a bit susceptible to the nick."

Cox has been an unqualified success at Taunton (Trescothick says team spirit is probably better than he has ever known it), but he is aware that he will return to Tasmania, and he suggests Somerset could build a side around his young vice- captain. "He has a head to be captain, and he's taken over the side admirably when I've been away for a couple of one-day games. The only thing he needs to be a natural leader is to be one of those players who are picked first. He needs to get his game completely in order."

Trescothick is conscious of the criticism: "I'm on the right road, trying to tighten up everything. I still play quite a lot of shots, though I wouldn't go back to the way I used to play."

He has no inhibitions about his ambition. He wants to captain Somerset and open for England: "You've got to believe it or you might as well give up now." In the meantime, he stands in the slips and passes advice to Jamie Cox, who takes it seriously, and he considers himself to be the natural contact man with the youngsters in a squad with a group of good players in their early twenties.

Trescothick appears to be self-contained and unemotional. He says he has not noticed much hype in the West Country about today's clash with Gloucestershire. "I don't think it makes any difference who it's going to be. It's going to be a good day." He pauses, as if he realises he has underplayed the occasion: "It's going to be the biggest day of my career," he says.

Those early triumphs in the Under-19 team lie forgotten in a vault in the memory bank. Trescothick judges himself by harsher standards. If he meets them, his forceful batting will add to the gaiety of the nation. If not, he will eventually go the way of most of his contemporaries in the Under-19 team.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teacher

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

Year 2 Teacher and Group Lead

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Teaching Assistants urgently r...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £135 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: The Job:We are looking for a ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week