James Lawton: Trescothick's response to failure shows no character

Tuesday 11 March 2003 01:00
Comments

There are some who speak of Marcus Trescothick as a future captain of England, but you have to wonder how well such speculation will survive his current ambition "to get cricket out of my system, eat and drink so much I turn into a fat bastard – and sleep for a year."

The lot of an English cricketer, heaven knows, has has not been easy over the last six months. Saddled with a hellish itinerary in Australia, besieged, and found seriously wanting, in the political controversies of the World Cup, it is understandable that Trescothick and his team-mates currently do not exactly feel like gods of the sporting universe.

But it seems that when the going gets tough for English cricketers, even those of them with an apparently glittering future, they do not so much get going as turn into something which has all the robust consistency of tomato purée.

After a meteoric rise, Trescothick has experienced his first trough of form. When Mike Atherton suffered such crises, which were almost invariably accompanied by severe back pain, he tended to grind it out in the nets. By way of contrast, Trescothick reports: "My head was spinning with all the advice I was getting, some from people in the bar I hadn't seen for 20 years." Passing thought: no one ever repositioned himself as a world-class performer in the bar, except perhaps the late Richard Harris or Oliver Reed. Nor is it done by sleeping for a year after eating and drinking yourself into a fat bastard.

Endlessly, we talk about the weaknesses of the structure of English cricket: the numbing mediocrity of the country game, the feebleness of committee thinking and the refusal to hand leadership unequivocally to a strong man who can then be judged on results. It is idle to pretend, however, that there is not a problem with the collective character of the English player.

Nasser Hussain, it is hoped, will retain the Test captaincy. His competitive nature is fierce, and widely praised even by Australians. He, like Trescothick, is clearly out of sorts with his game and to a degree himself. But among his options he has not yet mentioned a year's flatulent hibernation. For this, I suppose, we should feel grateful.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in