Marcus Trescothick, county cricket’s Grand Old Man, ended the annual stage-managed Somerset ritual about whether he would extend his career for another year with the confirmation that he had signed a new one-year contract which will take him beyond his 43rd birthday.
Traditionally, as befits the modern era where county cricket clubs imagine themselves as media outlets, Somerset’s website “exclusively revealed” the result of his deliberations around the time that they secured runners-up spot in Division One. White smoke, a byproduct of a simmering cider vat perhaps, rose over Taunton.
That Trescothick will be free to choose the time of this departure is a given, such has been his positive influence upon the county for nearly three decades.
By ending his deliberations and judging that he is ready to play on, he will again hope to be part of the first Somerset side to win the Championship: not just part of, the symbol of it. They have rarely had a stronger side in their history and Surrey’s runaway Championship success this summer was a disappointment as Somerset sought to end their barren run.
The summer of 2019 will be Trescothick’s 27th season as a Somerset player. He has scored more first-class centuries (52) and more List A runs (7374) than any player in the club’s history, although it would take more than one season for him to overhaul Harold Gimblett’s record number of first-class runs for the county.
Trescothick told the Somerset website: “”I’m delighted to have signed for at least another year. I still have the drive, passion and energy to want to get better and strive to perform for the team. I’ve always said that I want to continue to play for Somerset for as long as possible and that feeling has not changed.”
Getting better sounds unlikely – although his return of 491 runs at 27.27 in a season wrecked by a broken foot is arguably his least successful, so he will be ambitious to improve on that – but that he will strive to maintain standards and remain an inspirational figure for everybody connected with Somerset cricket is assured.
Somerset’s director of cricket, Andy Hurry said: “When you think of Somerset County Cricket Club you think of Marcus Trescothick. His work ethic is second to none and you simply can’t measure what he brings to the club behind the scenes and in the dressing room. He is the epitome of what a professional sportsman should be.
“We had a number of discussions throughout the season and he made it very clear that he still has the drive and he wants to continue playing whilst he can still positively impact games.”
His verdict is that he still believes he can.