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'Huge honour' to lead: Trescothick

PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, London
May 19, 2004 07:11 PM IST

Marcus Trescothick spoke on Wednesday of his pride in being named England captain after Michael Vaughan was ruled out of the first Test.

Marcus Trescothick spoke on Wednesday of his pride in being named England captain after regular skipper Michael Vaughan was ruled out of the first Test against New Zealand with a knee injury.

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But the Somerset left-hander admitted he'd rather have his opening batting partner in the team.

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Trescothick, an ever present during England's 3-0 Test series win in the West Indies, told reporters at Lord's on Wednesday where the first Test of three gets underway on Thursday: "It's a huge honour being at the home of cricket and the first Test match of a series having done so well in the winter.

"It's huge in my career. In terms of Michael not being around it's obviously a major hole and a disappointment he's not leading the side out," the 28-year-old added.

"But we'll have to get over it pretty quick because it's an important game starting tomorrow."

England were forced into a change of captain after Vaughan twisted his knee in freakish circumstances Monday while batting in the Lord's nets.

Trescothick got the nod to lead the side ahead of former captain Nasser Hussain, Vaughan's predecessor, and Mark Butcher who deputised for Hussain during the 1999 home series against New Zealand which the tourists won 2-1.

However, Trescothick said he did not expect to be in the job for long. "I presume it will be for one game only. Michael is icing the injury and doing everything he can to get back for the second Test."

After Vaughan was stretchered off at Lord's on Monday, England called up Middlesex captain and left-handed opener Andrew Strauss as cover.

Trescothick though refused to confirm if the 27-year-old South African-born Strauss, who has played one-day cricket for England, would be making his Test debut on his home ground.

"We'll have a management meeting this evening. Obviously, there are a couple couple of guys to cover and Straussy was called up as cover for Mike. We'll have to discuss that tonight."

If Strauss does not play, England could promote Butcher, who has opened in Test cricket before, from his number three spot and include Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood.

Another option is to play both Strauss and Collingwood and omit left-arm spinner Ashley Giles on a ground where slow bowlers have struggled to make an impact at this stage of the season.

The fact that Trescothick is up against New Zealand's Stephen Fleming, widely regarded as the best tactical skipper in international cricket at the moment, is a further challenge.

But Trescothick said: "Fleming is renowned as one of the best captains in the world at the moment. It's not going to bother me particularly what he does. I've just got to focus on the job I've got to do for England."

When Trescothick last stood in as captain for Vaughan, during a one-day international against South Africa last July, he made 114 not out and led England to a six-wicket win.

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