Trescothick takes the right decision

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The Independent Online

Those people with a true sense of perspective will be delighted to hear of Marcus Trescothick's decision to retire from international cricket.

Obviously, it is sad to see such a dedicated, patriotic and likeable man forced to give up something that patently meant so much to him, but the inner torment that came with attempting to overcome the mental illness that prevented him from touring with England for more than two years had to be brought to an end. It was doing Trescothick and his family no good at all. Representing your country is a source of huge pride, but there are far more important things in life.

England's plight of recent times would not have helped Trescothick's cause. Within him there will have been a sense of guilt. By not being there to help out he will have felt that he was letting down a team containing many of his closest friends.

Trescothick retires owing English cricket absolutely nothing at all. Since making his England debut in the summer of 2000 he has represented England with pride, scoring over 10,000 runs in both forms of the game. In the modern game he was the perfect opener, a player capable of biffing the ball from the very first over. The true quality of many sportsmen only becomes apparent when they disappear and that is most certainly the case with Trescothick. England have not come close to replacing him.

His international record highlights just how much he disliked the grind of touring, with its featureless hotel rooms and lonely nights sat in bed searching for something to watch on television. In both Test and one-day cricket Trescothick averaged considerably more at home than when away. In Tests the difference was 19 runs (53/34) and in one-day cricket it was 14 (44/30).

But it was not only on the pitch that he earned his keep. Trescothick will never be an athlete, but there was no harder trainer than him, and the way in which he went about his work set a wonderful example to any young player entering the side.

Trescothick, who played 76 Tests and 123 one-day internationals, will continue to play for Somerset, where he will undoubtedly score thousands of runs. He is still only 32 and could quite easily play for the county for another five or six years.

It is to be hoped that his decision to retire allows him to enjoy the remainder of his cricket career. It is the least he deserves.