Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stretching the Elastic

Sometimes something happens in the world of sport that reminds you that your heroes are human - simply flesh and blood, mortal beings like the rest of us.

In the current '24 hour media' dominated age, where sporting icons are created almost overnight, and then dragged down again equally as quickly, and where semi-literature youths barely out of school with all the grace and humility of hyenas, can earn the annual wage of a headmaster in the matter of a week - sometimes it's good (and paradoxically, also painful) to see the human side of a life spent in the harsh glare of the sporting spotlight.

Thus it's been with Marcus Trescothick over the past 48 hours.

The pictures taken at Heathrow Airport at 5am this morning, in time to dominate the morning newspapers, have been genuinely haunting. Compare the sight of Tresco's face in those picture - drawn, haggard and ultimately 'defeated', with the happy glowing figure we saw on the lap of honour at the Oval last September. Through those contrasting images you can start to appreciate just how fragile sporting success, and the fame that accompanies it can be.

In Trescothick's case there was a cruel reversal of the normal story, the body was strong but the mind was weak - a turnaround to the normal fate of a professional sportsman who finds events overtaking him, and finds himself powerless to reverse them.

At this time, we should forget the recriminations as to whether or not he should have been in Australia in the first place, or whether Duncan Fletcher allowed his heart to overrule his head and thus created turmoil within the England squad.

What we should be thinking about is the sad plight of a decent and honest professional sportsman who has given us some unforgettable moments over the years.

Pilgrimages to Taunton might be the order of the day next summer.


harrowdrive said...

Do you think he can recover from this?

Mark said...

I don't think he'll tour again, but there's always the possibility of him being recalled for a home series if one of the England openers gets injured.

Hopefully he'll enjoy a year for Somerset in 207.

Good point made by Mike Selvey in the Guardian yesterday - his slip fielding might be harder to replace than his batting.