England are set to overlook Marcus Trescothick for this afternoon's day-night encounter against Pakistan but Andrew Strauss, his captain and opening partner, believes that he will make a full recovery from the stress-related illness that is afflicting his career. Despite making himself unavailable for next month's Champions Trophy, Trescothick was still to be found practising hard at Trent Bridge yesterday. But his decision means that there is little point in England playing him in the final two matches against Pakistan.
Sympathy goes out to Trescothick but the timing of the announcement still rankles. Surely the England and Wales Cricket Board should have been aware that one of their most valuable employees was undergoing a course of treatment like this, and that it would coincide with the Champions Trophy. Yet Trescothick's decision appears to have caught the selectors totally by surprise.
"There is a chance he won't play," said Strauss. "With India in mind it would make sense to give a new opener a chance. The other side of the argument is that Marcus is a very experienced player and we want to win every game we play."
The absence of Trescothick would give Ed Joyce the chance to push for a Champions Trophy place. In June, Joyce made 10 in a one-dayer against Ireland, the country of his birth, before injuring his ankle in the Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka at Southampton. The fall kept the 27-year-old out for six weeks but the elegant lefthander has scored heavily in four-day cricket even though his limited-overs form has wavered.
If the selectors feel he is no longer suited to batting at the top of the order, Alastair Cook may be given a chance. Yet Strauss feels that it will not be long before either makes way for a fit Trescothick.
"It is obviously something he is working through," he said. "But there is light at the end of the tunnel and thereisnoreasonto expect him not to go on and play a full part in the Ashes and …