Trescothick flies home as stress returns

Somerset opener leaves Champions League in India after recurrence of illness
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The Independent Online

Marcus Trescothick has returned home from the Champions Trophy in India following a recurrence of the debilitating anxiety that curtailed his England career. Having arrived in the subcontinent optimistic that he might get the better of his stress-related problems, the Somerset opener realised after his side's recent game with Trinidad & Tobago that he would not be able to continue.

Although he did not contribute greatly with the bat in Somerset's two games to date – the victory over Deccan Chargers and the subsequent loss to Trinidad – his significance to the side means this is a serious blow to their hopes of winning this first Champions League.

Trescothick's value to the Sabres in this shortest form of the game was amply illustrated during the Twenty20 Cup Finals day in August, when his 56 from 32 balls blew away Kent in the semi-finals. Somerset will sorely miss his clean hitting and instinctive timing at the top of the order, although wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter will be a more than adequate replacement.

Trescothick, the 2009 Professional Cricketers' Association Player of the Year, arrived in India in the early hours of last Thursday morning accompanied by his wife, Hayley. At the time, he was confident about his ability to deal with stress-related problems, although he admitted that he had already suffered "one or two anxious spells".

"The journey went as well as it could have done," he said at the time. "I didn't have any great problem at the airport and I was extremely well looked after. I never kidded myself that this trip would be easy and I have had one or two anxious spells already. But I have tried-and-trusted methods of dealing with them, which I shall be sticking to, and at the moment I feel fine."

Sadly, that state of mind did not last and when he told the Somerset director of cricket, Brian Rose, that he wanted to go home, Rose immediately agreed. He said: "Marcus made a great effort to travel to India to attend this exciting tournament. Regrettably, it has not worked out for him regarding his personal well-being and he has travelled back to England to rejoin his family.

"The club and all his team-mates have fully appreciated this effort and personal commitment and look forward to further success on his behalf."

Somerset have reached the Super Eight phase of the tournament and are due to play the South African side Diamond Eagles today and New South Wales on Sunday.

Trescothick first suffered stress-related problems in India in 2006 and later that year withdrew from the Ashes tour just two weeks after leaving home. He has since concentrated on county cricket and has thrived on the domestic scene, scoring 1,817 County Championship runs in 2009. He will be Somerset captain next season following Justin Langer's retirement.

* Bangalore Royal Challengers are close to elimination from the Champions League after they were thrashed by Victoria last night. Batting first, the Indian side were restricted by the Australian bowlers to just 127, a total which proved pitifully inadequate. Slow left-armer Jon Holland extracted turn from a decent surface, conceding just 19 runs from his four overs. Victoria reached their target with 25 balls to spare, David Hussey striking three sixes off an Anil Kumble over to complete the IPL side's humiliation. Victoria are top of League B with four points while Bangalore have none.

Missing Marcus: Previous walkouts

Feb 2006 Departs England's tour of India, citing "personal reasons".

Sept 2006 Rules himself out of Champions Trophy trip to India, owing to stress-related illness.

Nov 2006 Flies home from Ashes tour early, due to "recurrence of stress-related illness".

March 2008 Pulls out of Somerset's pre-season tour of UAE, hours before scheduled flight.