Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Playing Away with England's Toy Boys

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Playing Away with England's Toy Boys

Article excerpt


THERE was a time, and not a million years ago, when cricketers on tour stayed in touch with home by sending the occasional postcard.

As for keeping tabs on the game's facts and figures, a few minutes poring over the scorebook at the end of a day's play would have to suffice.

And, when it came to filling in those long hours of travelling, the options were often limited to a good book or a challenging crossword puzzle.

Well, at least it kept hand luggage to a minimum.

Now, as Marcus Trescothick demonstrates for Standard Sport, England's players need a separate suitcase to carry all their non-cricketing equipment.

A degree in information technology wouldn't go amiss, either.

But the Somerset opening batsman is by no means unusual among Nasser Hussain's class of 2002 when it comes to making full use of just about every gizmo available to him.

For communication, for coaching assistance, for analysis and for leisure and pleasure.

The mobile phone in Trescothick's hand is supplied by England's sponsors, Vodafone. Thanks to a deal with the same company in New Zealand, the players can call home for just 12p a minute. Just to prove he is an allrounder in the techno stakes, Trescothick has a second mobile for text and data messaging.

With it, he is able to send and receive information via a laptop computer as well as checking up on more mundane matters, such as Bristol City's latest result.

England's vice-captain wouldn't dream of bringing just one bat on tour. One computer won't do, either, and thanks to Birmingham-based company, The Hub, two are available.

Laptop No 1 is cricket specific. With it, Trescothick can watch video footage of himself - or any other player, for that matter - in action.

He will use it to check that his feet are moving where they should be, his head remains still and his bat is coming down straight. …

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