England Cricket Players
NBC Denis Compton Award 1996
NBC Denis Compton Award 1997
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2005
There is something biblical about Marcus Trescothick's career: seven years of plenty as a schoolboy, seven years of famine when he reached the Somerset 1st XI. And lo, it came to pass in 1999 that he batted on a pacy pitch at Taunton against Glamorgan while Duncan Fletcher was their coach, and made a storming 167, with five sixes, when the next-best score was 50. When England needed a stand-in one-day opener in 2000, Fletcher remembered Trescothick. He took to international cricket like a duck to a TV screen. A true opener, he formed a habit of starting a series well with a mixture of expert leaves, crisp cover-drives, spanking pulls and fearless slog-sweeps. Hefty, knock-kneed and genial, he is described by Nasser Hussain as a left-handed Gooch, but his ease on the big stage and his blazing one-day strokeplay are just as reminiscent of David Gower. His first four England hundreds came in a losing cause, confirming his ability to keep his head while all around are losing theirs. Opening in Tests with Mike Atherton, Trescothick acquired the air of a senior player as if by osmosis - he joined the management committee on his first tour. All that stands between him and the top drawer is a tendency to get out when well set, to make a breezy 20 or 30. He seemed to have conquered this with a domineering home season in 2002, but it reappeared - like so many English frailties - as soon as the team landed in Australia. Trescothick endured fluctuating fortunes over the next couple of seasons. He showed glimpses of his blazing best against South Africa in 2003, when he capped his season with a determined 219 (and 69 not out) in the astonishing series-levelling victory at The Oval, but his form slid away drastically in the Caribbean that winter. The selectors never lost faith with him, and having stood in as captain for the first Test of the 2004 season, Trescothick cracked a pair of hundreds against West Indies at Edgbaston. At Johannesburg in 2004-05, he set up England's series victory with a brutal 180 on the final morning, and carried his domineering form into the home season. Having bullied 345 runs in two innings against the Bangladeshis, he spearheaded a no-holds-barred approach against Australia with 431 runs and a top score of 90, as he - and England - finally got the better of the one nation that really mattered.