Trescothick unsure about England comeback

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The Independent Online

Marcus Trescothick would not dismiss out of hand any request from England to make himself available for next week's Ashes decider.

Trescothick, 33, retired from international cricket in March 2008 after struggling with a stress-related illness, and has since reaffirmed his exile.

But if England were to come knocking in their search for stability and quality at the top of the order, for what amounts to a cup final against Australia at the Brit Oval, the Somerset left-hander would give it consideration.

England's brittle batting at Headingley led to Australia levelling the series at 1-1 last week and places are under scrutiny.

It has led to Trescothick, who has amassed 1,330 first-class runs at 78.23 this summer, being touted as a possible fill-in on a one-off basis.

Kent captain Rob Key has also been tipped to make a comeback for the must-win Test, and last night he said it would be his dream to win the Ashes.

England captain Andrew Strauss made a personal plea for Trescothick to make himself available for the World Twenty20 tournament earlier this summer but that rebuff should not be taken as a sign of what the response would be to an Ashes call.

"If I was asked, I don't know," admitted Trescothick. "If they threw questions at me, I would listen. But until they do I can't answer.

"I am just carrying on what I am doing at Somerset. Carrying on playing. Anything else is so hypothetical at the moment.

"It's always nice to be thought of. Of course it is. But people are talking about it more than I am thinking about it."

Trescothick did return to England action after quitting the 2006 tour of India with his stress-related condition but aborted the 2006-07 Ashes campaign following a relapse.

As revealed in his award-winning autobiography Coming Back To Me, being away from his family has been a long-standing problem and that would rule him out of playing abroad again.

However, England have sounded him out regarding a comeback more than once since his last appearance, most recently this April when Strauss was rebuffed.

"After taking everything into consideration, I reluctantly had to tell Strauss that playing for England again was just not possible," Trescothick said, four months ago.

"I had no choice but to say no.

"I might be wrong, but I still believe that if it was as simple as turning up and batting for England, I could do it and succeed.

"Playing cricket for England was the great ambition of my life and, until I became ill, I loved everything about it, so not being able to do so now is a source of great regret.

"I miss the buzz and the stage and the chance to put my ability to the sternest test, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about it often."

Trescothick, the country's leading run-scorer this summer, has experience of defeating Australia in 2005 and has an average of 62 in seven Tests at the Oval.

Crucially, that return of 687 runs includes a double hundred in a winning cause and must-win match against South Africa in 2003.

His 76th and last Test was also in south London - the forfeited affair with Pakistan three years ago.

Key told BBC Radio Five Live last night: "It's just a bonus if I did get to play because it's an opportunity really and if I didn't get any runs I'd probably end up going back to county cricket and nothing much would be different.

"It's something you dream about doing, coming in for one game and potentially trying to win the Ashes. It would just be fantastic."