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Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Marcus Trescothick admits Somerset tour dilemma


Trescothick on Inside Sport - Wednesday 25 November, 2245, BBC One

Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick has told BBC Sport he is unsure whether to travel abroad with his club again after his aborted trip to India in October.

The ex-England opener had a recurrence of his stress-related illness during the Champions League Twenty20.

Asked if he would travel in 2010 should his team qualify, he said: "Every case has to be treated individually.

"The problem comes when trying to focus on scoring the runs that I need to justify my position in the team."

Trescothick left India before Somerset had finished competing in the tournament and admits the touring issue continues to trouble him.

"I think that's got to be really looked at all the time and that's probably the area where a wise man would tell me not to do it anymore, I think," he said

The 33-year-old quit international cricket in 2008 because of anxiety attacks which he has suffered from since he was a child.

He speaks about his inner turmoil for the first time since that departure in an Inside Sport special programme on depression in sport, which is broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday (2245 GMT).

"I can't say yes or no [if I will compete next year] because I'm a professional sportsman and there's always that eagerness to go, right, I want to keep playing, I want to do something more, I want to show people across the world that I'm still what I used to be," he says.

"But at some point I've got to say there's no point me doing this because it's just no fun for me, the stress and strain for the family and the reward is not great enough to go through all of that."

Marcus Trescothick

Mind Games - Inside Sport

During the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 tournament, which Somerset could play in again next year, every effort was made to help him, including allowing his wife to accompany him on the trip.

As seen in a video diary to be shown on the programme on Wednesday, Trescothick was in good spirits and played in two of Somerset's matches.

But despite the measures taken he was forced to return home when problems became too much to bear. Yet the 2009 Professional Cricketers' Association's player of the year says in the programme that he still sees the experience as a step forward.

It is progress since the time when he thought about harming himself to prove he had a problem.

"I considered hurting myself just to show people how much pain I was in," he said.

"If you've got a broken leg you've got a cast on your leg, people can see you've got a problem but when you've got mental problems there is nothing evident to people to show you need help."

Trescothick, who has agreed to take over as Somerset captain from Justin Langer in 2010, was first affected by his illness on England's tour of India in 2005-06.

He was then forced out of the Ashes tour the following winter only two weeks after leaving home and the problem eventually forced him into international retirement.

Somerset chairman Andy Nash backed Trescothick after he pulled out of the club tour in October.

"Everyone connected with the club and cricket is aware how brave it was of him and (his wife) Hayley to even travel out there in the first place.," said Nash

"This is not a step back for Marcus. It was a victory for him to get there."

Trescothick is just one of several top-level sportsmen to have suffered from a form of depression.

Former boxer Frank Bruno, ex-Celtic player Neil Lennon and legendary All Black John Kirwan all battled with the illness and talk about the the myths and misconceptions that still surround mental illness.

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see also
Soon on Inside Sport
02 Dec 09 |  Inside Sport
Trescothick flies home from India
15 Oct 09 |  Somerset
Sport's guilty secret
13 Nov 09 |  Inside Sport

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