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Trescothick stirs up a controversy

Eng opener revealed that it was actually illness behind his early exit rather than 'personal reasons' as conveyed by coach Fletcher.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 12:57 IST

England's regular vice-captain Marcus Trescothick has revealed that a viral problem coupled with exhaustion were the reasons behind his early exit from the tour of India, contradicting the "personal reasons" explanation given by coach Duncan Fletcher for his departure.

"The main reason was that I picked up a bug while I was out there, in Bombay (Mumbai). It really hit me hard. I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't shake it off really," Trescothick told Sky Sports.

"It got to the point when I said, 'Look, I'm fatigued'. I was struggling to concentrate on my cricket as much as I can do leading up to a big Test and prepare in the right way. So I spoke to the people that I needed to and decided that the right thing to do was to come home," he added.

The regular vice-captain, who departed without playing any match in India, had refused to explain his withdrawal at that time and the ECB and coach Duncan Fletcher had cited "personal reasons" for that. They had asked the media to respect his privacy.

Trescothick's, withdrawal which came after regular captain Michael Vaughan was ruled out with a knee injury, left the English team in a lurch and Andrew Flintoff had to cancel his plans of a quick trip back home to watch his son's birth to lead the depleted side.

"The virus is a funny one. It's stuck with me for such a long time. Even still now, up to three weeks ago I was still getting relapses," Trescothick said, speaking for the first time about the reasons of his departure.

"If I trained too hard or came back too quick then it seemed to knock me back for a couple of days," he said.

However, the virus was not the only reason of his going back. Trescothick said six years of continuous cricket had also taken its toll on him and he was longing to spend some time with his family.

"We play so much; we spend 300 nights a year out of our own house either travelling the world or at hotels preparing for games in England," he said.

"There are times when you have to understand that you need to have a rest. Touring Pakistan and India are probably the hardest you can do, because it is not easy to take your family away to that part of the world," he added.

Meanwhile, the British media has reacted suspiciously to his claims and some newspapers have questioned the explanation given by him.

The Daily Telegraph said if the reasons for his exit were medical than why were they kept under wraps. The newspaper said the reasons should have been made public like in the case of Michael Vaughan.

"If Trescothick had picked up a virus in Bombay (the team's first port of call), as he claims, why was it not mentioned in the daily bulletins given by the team doctor, Dr Peter Gregory?"

"The illnesses suffered by Paul Collingwood and Shaun Udal were, as was the injury to Michael Vaughan, so why not Trescothick?," the newspaper questioned.

The Guardian was more guarded in its assessment of Trescothick's explanation saying that the opener had contradicted the claims made by the team management.

"Trescothick's explanation seemingly contradicts England's guarded explanation after he made a tearful exit from the India tour nearly seven weeks ago," the daily wrote.

First Published: Apr 11, 2006 12:57 IST