Banger’s back (albeit against Devon)

In spite of Nasser Hussain’s bold insistence that Australia were “under the cosh for a lot of” today’s match against England, the end result was rather predictable. England did apply themselves well for portions of the match – specifically the partnership between Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen – but that one highlight alone is not enough to beat Australia, to win the World Cup or to prove England’s one-day ethic is nothing more than hit-and-hope. In fact, poke-and-pray might be more accurate.

All is not lost. You’ve no doubt heard by now that Marcus Trescothick made his return to cricket – albeit against a Devon attack more used to serving scones than yorkers – with a brutal 256 from 117 balls. This is a good thing.

The mystery surrounding his stress-related illness is still very much just that. No one knows for sure exactly what constitutes stress, nor why it happened, nor why he was apparently unfit to attend England’s Champions Trophy yet was fit to tour Australia a few weeks later. He lasted just two weeks which, given the horror show that eventuated, was probably just as well.

I desperately hope he returns, fighting fit, scoring banger tons again. Who knows? This lay-off he has had could relaunch his career, turning him from a good England player into a great.

What’s really wrong with Trescothick?

Update November 14 2006
He’s left the Ashes

Yesterday, England were granted a three-day extension to name their final squad of 14 for the Champions Trophy. And today’s news is that Marcus Trescothick has opted out.

He left England’s tour of India earlier this year due to a virus, although speculation was rife. But the medical reasons behind his latest omission are ambiguous at best:

Cricinfo

A spokesman from Performance Healthcare, the specialists treating Trescothick, said: “After his return from the tour of India in March, Marcus sought specialist help for his ongoing symptoms. In addition to the deleterious effects of the acquired gastrointestinal infection on his health, it later became evident that he was also suffering from an underlying stress-related illness.

“He has been receiving specialist treatment, which has allowed him to resume his position in the England team. However, we believe that it would be premature for him to tour India in October. Rest is an important part of his treatment and he will need recovery time before the Ashes tour of Australia which begins in November.”

I hope he’s left alone and the media don’t hound him, although if he pulls out of the Ashes – please God no! – there’ll be no stopping them. All very confusing, and a huge blow to England’s fledgling one-day team.