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    April 11, 2006

    I flu away - Trescothick

    Marcus Trescothick, who suddenly returned to England before the start of the first test at Nagpur, has now revealed to Sky News that he picked up a virus early on in the tour and that is what forced him to return.

    Somehow that doesn't seem right. He was reported to have broken down during the course of the tour game against the Indian Board President's XI.
    Shortly after he was out on the final morning of England’s last warm-up match, in which they crashed to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of an Indian Board President’s XI, Trescothick was seen leaving the ground in Baroda in tears.
    Why'd he break down if it was just a viral/bacterial flu? Perhaps Zainub, as a far better physiology expert among us cricket bloggers, should clarify if there is actually a variety of flu which forces those infected to break down in tears.

    Updates:

    Derek Pringle mounts a scathing attack on Trescothick's explanations as well as the ECB's lack of transparency and consistency.

    Marcus is reported as also saying
    Unfortunately, the two tours, Pakistan and India, are tough tours to go on. It’s not easy to take your families to that part of the world and you spend a long time away from home. You need your comforts and your security to be able to perform at a good level.
    This is plain ridiculous. I hope some player from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka mentions England's ridiculously cold/wet weather, bombs in London last year and the UK Government's policies on Iraq as reasons for feeling uncomfortable there ... and still goes on tour. The whole point of life is to excel in unfamiliar conditions. One man did it better than just about everyone else in the game for nearly two decades, and his autobiography title is a fairly good indicator of how important it was for him to get away from those comforts.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 6:55 PM |
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    14 sledge(s):

    3 months and a bit of studying physiology doesn’t quite categorise me as an expert Jag but I’ll comply to your request all the same. Here’s something from my much loved Dorland’s Pocket Medical Dictionary:

    Influenza (in’’floo-en’zah) [Ital.] an acute viral (not bacterial Jag) infection of the respiratory tract, occurring in isolated cases, epidemics, and in pandemics, caused by serologically distinct strains of viruses (influenzaviruses) designated A, B, and C; marked by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, pharynx, and conjunctiva, headache, myalgia, often fever, chills, and prostration, and occasionally involvement of the myocardium or central nervous system.

    Even though that doesn’t mention “crying” as a symptom, inflammation (or swelling) of the conjunctiva (the thin, transparent tissue that covers the outer surface of the eye) does result in irritation of the eyes that sort of give the impression you’re crying. May be Tresco just had watery eyes and some one mistook that for crying. I’m fairly surprised though that Tresco decide to skip an entire major tour because of a Flu virus, as serious as it might have been, flu is perfectly treatable condition. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flu_treatment)

    Quite ridiculous though, as you put it, that he should have covered this all up as “personal reason” and everyone asked to respect his “privacy”. I would have much rather preferred if he came out and admitted he was plain unfit which is what I’d make of all his “I had an awful flu” statements.

    The other bits about tours to the sub-continent being tough, and too much cricket being played and players having to spend a long time away from one’s families, that’s plain ridiculous too. These guys are professionals who are paid (in Trescothick’s case probably over paid to an extent) to do just these things: go on tough cricket tours, play all the year around, spend time away from your loved ones, this is what international cricket is all about. If Tresco finds it all a bit too tough or too tragic for his liking, then I suggest he stops playing cricket altogether. A nine-to-five job some where in Somerset ought not to be as tough, and will surely not consume too much time away from family (and will probably also provide more lenient sick leave regulations pertaining influenza). Though I presume they would pay less…but he’d settle for a compromise, wouldn’t he?

    By Blogger Zainub (11-Apr-2006, 9:51:00 PM)  

    I agree!

    Lame. Lame. Lame.
    He would have done a lot better by just not saying anything. He has lost a lot of credibility and am sure respect also.

    Not Just Cricket: India v England 2006: Trescothick just had the virals!!! Gimme a break!

    ~ R J

    By Anonymous Not Just Cricket (11-Apr-2006, 10:20:00 PM)  

    Jagadish, you seem to be responding to things that haven't been said. Even if Trescothick is not telling the truth, it's quite easy to see how being laid low with a debilitating virus in the early stages of a high-pressure tour could be upsetting. To then insist that, if he had a virus, he could not have been upset and his reaction must have been solely physiological, is absolutely bizarre. Besides, since when was flu the only virus? No one's mentioned flu, except for initial reports in the warm-up match, and yet Zainub and yourself seem convinced that this was the cause.

    Zainub, how could a 9 to 5 job provide more lenient sick leave? Trescothick has effectively worked a couple of days all year.

    As for the final comment: he was saying it's not easy to take your family to Pakistan before Christmas, then India afterwards. How many subcontinental teams tour Europe for more than a month twice in the same year? Imagine touring South Africa and Australia in the same season. It doesn't have to be a slight on your country, unless you make it so.

    R J - you obviously enjoy tabloid muck-raking. Some of us don't. No matter that he is a professional cricketer, Marcus Trecothick (and any other player) deserves to have his private life remain so if he chooses.

    By Anonymous Geoff (11-Apr-2006, 10:49:00 PM)  

    Geoff,

    I believe I have been sympathetic to Trescothick's woes and my posts will show to that effect. That you see it as , to use your own words 'tabloid muck-raking', surely is your prerogative and no one can do nowt about that.

    Sympathetic to Tres'thick or not, it is obvious to all who read this article with his interview, that Tres'thick's strength and sense of duty reach well above that of a mere viral attack. He has done absolutely no good to himself nor his career by coming out and 'explaining' his sudden retire from the Indian tour.

    That is the focus of my and, i believe, most bloggers' comments of disbelief or ridicule - if I may use such a strong word.

    By Anonymous Not Just Cricket (11-Apr-2006, 11:20:00 PM)  

    Forgive me, R J, but explain to me how precisely the following paragraph is anything but.

    The lameness of this excuse - not a reason - but an excuse simply points to the fact that there is something brewing back in the Trescothick residence and it certainly isn't the customary cuppa of Tetley. It surely is a family/personal problem of a serious extent that led him to walk out on England to be able to spend time at home. I would not be surprised that behind the scenes Trescothick has made noises to the effect of him not really wanting to spend any time away from his family. I believe we may not see much of Trescothick in future international matches.

    It's not ridicule, it's personal. There isn't any need for it. Constantly calling him 'lame' is hardly a mature approach, either.

    By Anonymous Geoff (11-Apr-2006, 11:40:00 PM)  

    lameness of this excuse - not a reason - but an excuse = a lame excuse.

    Lame: (la·mé): Weak and ineffectual; unsatisfactory

    an excuse that cannot be justified.

    Follow my comments elsewhere and nowhere have I said that Tres'thick is lame. Nor have I cast any aspertion on his capabilities. I am merely stating the obvious. Which is, that any batsman, especially an opening batsman, would not allow a mere viral infection to cut short an entire tour, even the ODIs. A tour to the subcontinent. All cricket followers will agree that a successful subcontinent tour is a must on any cricketer's CV/resume to be considered a good cricketer - be it in bowling or batting. Tres'thick has never come across as a person who would willingly allow a viral infection, which can be treated within the time it took for the Test series to have been completed, to make him run home. He could have been ready for the ODIs. With him in the side, England would have shown much more or a credible performance. Only weather could help them not come home with a potential 7-0 india-wash. It still could be a 6-0 india-wash.

    There has to be something more to it. His initial 'family problems' and the 'need for privacy'; Fletcher's comments that he should be allowed 'his privacy' are in no way connected or related to this magical/mystical viral infection. I have no intention of prying or delving into this problem. I have said this before: he may have a family issue to deal with and that's just back luck and hope that he is able to work it out and get back to the England fold pronto. But another England player suffered a similar problem during and after a long tour - Graham Thorpe - which practically catalysed the demise of this England career.

    The lameness is not in the man. The lameness is in the excuse that he appears to believe will be considered plausible and a justification.

    If you believe otherwise, nowt I can do about it.

    By Anonymous Not Just Cricket (12-Apr-2006, 12:27:00 AM)  

    Zainub: Thanks for the detailed clarification. The timing of his explanation is queer too. Basically he's either just had a nice holiday or had a different personal/family crisis which he is [rightly] reluctant to divulge. But he's effectively saying he's put it all behind him and will play in the comfortable environs of his country.

    RJ: I don't think we can with certainty say it was a family crisis. This also doesn't mean he won't turn up for England. Perhaps his touring will become more restricted. He'll pick and choose to play in places like New Zealand where the weather will be similar. Perhaps Australia too, where the culture is similar. Maybe the West Indies, since it has some great holiday opportunities between games.

    Geoff: Exactly what hasn't been said? It was widely reported that he broke down. He then comes out and says he had a viral attack. I really do doubt if a viral attack in the start of a high pressure tour would cause a cricketer to weep, midway through a tour game. Now you're the one reading too much into his statement. He mentions nothing about Christmas. He can stay with his comforts though. How many cricketing nations are there in Europe for subcontinental teams to tour Europe twice in the same year? The point isn't about being a slight. He is effectively saying he's uncomfortable outside his comforts, not exactly what you want a country's leading batsman, and stand-in captain to say. Besides the whole saga is full of contradictions. 'Privacy' and 'personal' reasons become 'medical'?

    RJ: Perhaps Trescothick doesn't agree with your assumption that a cricketer's resume is complete only when he also has a good tour of the subcontinent.

    By Blogger Jagadish (12-Apr-2006, 1:23:00 PM)  

    @ Jag: I agree that it is not a certainty and I do not believe that I have insisted that it is. The circumstance, the reports and subsequently this inane interview of his seem to point to that.

    From this interview, it seems strongly obvious that he does not consider himself as a starter in England's final XI side and for now he is just happy to stick to trying to play well for Somerset.

    (I have an audio of the interview and might podcast it in my blog. Let folks listen and make their own judgements, I guess)

    It is indeed sad that England seem to now have to consider Trescothick as a 'geographical' choice. A consequence of the increased amount of pressure on the player and his family, for the modern-day cricketer.

    By Anonymous Not Just Cricket (12-Apr-2006, 9:05:00 PM)  

    Jagadish: the following weren't said by Trescothick, the ECB, or any of its employees:
    - That he had influenza.
    - That the tours were tough due to the identity of the countries being toured.
    - That the virus directly caused him to break down in tears.

    These were all inferred in your original post. I know Trescothick didn't mention Christmas; I was trying to put the tours into context to explain how this was tough regardless of which countries were toured. And in case you missed it, he did not say he wasn't capable of touring: he did, after all, have a decent tour of Pakistan and a good tour of South Africa a few years ago, just that he found it difficult. Some people will. Steve Harmison also does. But he is still picked, and he still goes on tours.

    R J, you're giving him a nickname, you're indulging in basically pointless speculation about his private life, and you're assuming a completely different chain of events to that publically stated, with no evidence, just conjecture. You're repeatedly using the word lame in your descriptions of Trescothick (or, if you prefer, Trescothick's statement - but you can't deny that your use of the word was ambiguous at best). Trescothick has said he's still not fully recovered from the infection - you assert that he would definitely have been fit for the ODIs had he stayed. Your sympathy, such as it is, comes attached to an assumption that there are problems with his family, or with him personally.

    In case you've forgotten, Graham Thorpe had a winning return to the side at home to South Africa, played well on two tours in separate winters ... all after the demise of his England career. He played his last Test at a greater age than most England batsmen in recent years.

    By Anonymous Geoff (12-Apr-2006, 9:34:00 PM)  

    Geoff,

    1. you're giving him a nickname: I did not, I have not given him a nick name. That is what the TV broadcasters do and have done. I mentioned it my blog post in humor in relation to the excuse that he deemed fit to mention in his interview.

    2. you're indulging in basically pointless speculation about his private life: 'Family problems' 'need for privacy' - Which viral infection calls for such comments and requests?? The speculation in the media has been intiated and started by such comments. I have merely accepted the 'possible' existence of such problems, going on previous prominent cricketers' examples - Gooch and Thorpe. (inspite of successful tours, he was still left in limbo which then catalysed his 'forced' retirement)

    3. You're repeatedly using the word lame in your descriptions of Trescothick: I believe not. Read again and you should realise this. I do not and should not need to, since it is so obvious, but I will indulge you in saying that the lameness (and I have to use the word here again, I am sure you will agree) was in the excuse given by him.
    [Go look at all the prominent message boards around the web...you will notice how much respect TresCOthick has lost on account of that one inane interview of his. People would rather see Cook firmly in place, instead of TresCOthick]

    4: you assert that he would definitely have been fit for the ODIs: I believe not here again. I wrote (double check if you need): He could have been ready for the ODIs. By walking out for WHATEVER reason, he did not give the Team management nor himself that possibility. How was he so sure that this viral infection will not and could not have been treated??

    Now, you will forgive me, and you may wish to label this any way you would want to, for not responding to your comments aimed specifically at what I have said since it is getting a tad tiresome repeating myself. This on the premise that you will respond.

    You be sure to have a good day, sir.

    By Anonymous Not Just Cricket (12-Apr-2006, 10:25:00 PM)  

    Geoff: I hope you're not suggesting that I should _always_ base my arguments/posts on what the official line from the ECB or indeed the player is. You harp on my implication that it was influenza. Fair enough - wrong assumption. He obviously implied that the tours of Pakistan and India were tough. I seldom hear players say tours of England, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and West Indies (i.e. "those" parts of the world) are tough and that going there means they spend a long time away from home without their comforts and security. Given me asking Zainub to clarify if there was a virus which forced the victims into tears, it was obviously sarcasm, in case it wasn't plain and clear.

    I'll leave it to you and RJ to continue with your slugfest since I don't have to defend either's views! The rule is be clear though - "Obviously comments containing offensive and unsuitable language will be deleted."

    By Blogger Jagadish (13-Apr-2006, 1:01:00 AM)  

    @ Jag

    I'll leave it to you and RJ to continue with your slugfest:

    No slugfest was intended nor will it be continued. For me this topic and thread of comments is R.I.P.

    By Anonymous Not Just Cricket (13-Apr-2006, 7:02:00 AM)  

    I followed a link back via my blog's Site Stats to revisit these comments.

    To say the least; It was interesting to read the (in your own words) slugfest.

    Couldn't help but wonder:

    "So, where is Trescothick now?"

    By Blogger RJ (05-Jan-2007, 7:05:00 PM)  

    RJ: Good question. I reckon he's undergoing some sort of therapy in England.

    By Blogger Jagadish (05-Jan-2007, 7:29:00 PM)  


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