Gould says Trescothick ready for Ashes rescue act

Marcus Trescothick could be talked out of international retirement in a bid to bolster England’s batting at the Oval next week for their Ashes decider against Australia, according to his Somerset boss.

The left-handed opener’s return to England duty would be little short of sensational as he has not played Test cricket since coming home before the start of the 2006/07 Ashes tour in Australia with what was later diagnosed as a stress-related illness.

But, following England’s double batting failure in their innings and 80 run fourth Test defeat by Australia at Headingley, which left the series all square at 1-1, Somerset chief executive Richard Gould has said Trescothick could play at the Oval if told he no longer had to tour.

Trescothick is the leading England qualified batsman in English first-class cricket so far this season with 1 130 runs from 18 matches at an average of over 78 with six centuries.

”Marcus is a team player and would want to abide by rules, which is what makes him so supportive of captains,” Gould told Tuesday’s edition of The Times.

”I believe Marcus would be more willing to end his self-imposed retirement if he was told he did not have to be available for any tours due to his much-publicised medical condition.”

Trescothick, while England were struggling at Headingley last week, scored hundreds in both innings of Somerset’s drawn First Division County Championship match against Warwickshire.

While cases have also been made for Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key to be recalled, the 33-year-old Trescothick’s Test record, of 5 825 runs from 76 matches at an average of 43,79 with 14 hundreds, is markedly superior to that of his fellow former England batsmen.

But Trescothick’s figures against Australia are more modest, with 15 Ashes Tests yielding 1 013 runs at an average of under 34 and no centuries.

His recall could once again see England field a trio of openers just as they did in their 2005 Ashes triumph when the top three consisted of Trescothick, current captain Andrew Strauss and now retired former captain Michael Vaughan.

But as well as representing a huge one-off gamble for a panel that prides itself on consistency of selection, any return for Trescothick would also see officials having to make an exception regarding rules on availability.

”There may not be anything written down but this is understood to have been the ECB’s (England and Wales Cricket Board’s) policy over the past few years — often for good reason, to ensure players do not pick and choose their tours,” Gould said.

”Does this mean the highest-scoring batsman in English cricket this season should not be available for matches in England? Events change — no one thought we would lose Kevin Pietersen from the Test series.

”There are not many truly world-class performers and those that are, like Marcus, need to be kept on the pitch for as long as possible.” — AFP



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