Tresco talks of illness

England batsmen reflects on troubled times

By Paul Higham.   Last Updated: 02/09/07 6:53pm

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Tresco: Talk of illness

Tresco: Talk of illness

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Marcus Trescothick has lifted the lid on the stress-related illness which has curtailed his England career, and he has insisted that he will not 'sacrifice his health' to try and get back playing international cricket.

"You're stuck in the middle, a ground somewhere, (thinking) I'm not sure if I want to do this, I'm not happy about doing this. It's a constant fear." Quotes of the week

The Somerset left-hander had enjoyed a superb Test and one-day career with England and was a tried and tested success at the top of the order in both forms of the game.

However, he was forced to withdraw from tours of both India and Australia due to his psychological issues, and he has not been able to get back into the England fold ever since.

The 31-year-old opener has spoken about how the condition crept up on him during the overseas tour to India in February 2006, when he was forced to return home.

A frightening experience, Trescothick says it was hard for him to explain what had been happening to him.

"When it first kicked off it was like: 'What is going on, I haven't got a clue where I am and what I'm doing," he said in an interview with newspaper Scotland on Sunday .

"No-one knew what was going on. I didn't understand it. People were telling me things and I was like 'no, there is nothing wrong, I just get a bit worried now and then'.

"I couldn't express it to people, so I was scared to say anything about it."

Pressure

England missed Trescothick badly when his illness struck, especially during the Ashes tour, as any team would miss a man who averaged almost 44 in 76 Tests and more than 37 in 123 one-dayers.

Trescothick is insistent that his problems do not mean he has a mental illness, adding that his illness came as a result of a build-up of pressure from constant training, playing and being away from home.

"It's always branded as a stress-related illness," he explained. "I'm not mentally ill, that's for sure.

"It all came from the build-up of playing and training, practising and being away from home.

"It's a combination of different things and the constant grind of being away from home all the time."

Fear

Trescothick says his condition made him struggle sometimes when he was out in the middle batting, when a fear would strike.

"You're stuck in the middle, a ground somewhere, (thinking) I'm not sure if I want to do this, I'm not happy about doing this. It's a constant fear."

Trescothick managed to return to some of his old form with Somerset, and he was included in the initial squad for the Twenty20 World Cup.

Although he opted not to be involved in the trip to South Africa, he believes he is slowly getting a hold on his problem, but is determined not to risk his health just to return to playing for England.

"I'm not going to put myself through it because I know what it's like to be there (on the pitch) and I know what it's like to be playing for England, and as much as I want to do that I'm not going to sacrifice my health.

"I haven't got anything to prove. I watch it on TV now and think: 'Just give me that chance again', but I'm not going to do it until in my mind I am 100% and I have to be certain."

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