The millions on offer in Twenty20 events like the Indian Premier League worries former England cricket captain Marcus Trescothick, who foresees players turning away from Test cricket because of the lure of quick money.
“I think we have got to be slightly worried. Things like the IPL, we still don’t know how it will pan out and it offers a lot of money. You can get 700,000 to 800,000 pounds for playing just six weeks in a year in the IPL”, Trescothick said.
“This amount of money is unheard of… I mean it has been there in football but it’s new for cricket,” he said on BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ programme when asked whether money was killing the game.
Trescothick said if the choice comes down to IPL and a Test series for the England team, the players would probably opt for the Twenty20 format because of the money.
“It’s inevitable that you are going to see people go away. I don’t think you can deny them a chance to earn something like 500,000 pounds for six weeks of work. Playing Tests would get you just about 25,000 to 30,000 pounds per match,” he pointed out.
“Hopefully, it gets to a point that they (the administrators) restructure the problem so that you can play IPL without missing Test matches,” he added.
The retired opener is, however, among those who get enticed by the money on offer in IPL. “For me it’s not about the money. Probably two-three years ago, I would have knocked on their door but the thing now is I have to make a lot of sacrifices. I have no aspirations to play in the IPL,” he declared.
Looking back at a career cut short by bouts of depression and anxiety, Trescothick, who headed home midway through the 2005 tour to India due to a mental breakdown, said he regrets pushing himself too hard even when his mind was telling him to stop.
“I wish I hadn’t gone to India. I talk a lot about making sacrifices but the fact is I was selfish all through. I kept playing and saying to myself that go on when my mind was telling me to stop. That’s one of the biggest regrets that I have, that I pushed myself too much. You can’t keep doing that. On the tour of India, I knew it (the mental breakdown) was coming. I was struggling… I remember in Mumbai I had quarantined myself in the hotel room and it was bad. It just kept getting worse from there. It was eventually about when the bubble would burst,” he said.
“I remember walking off the pitch after a match and feeling that this is it, I can’t do this anymore,” he recalled.
Asked what exactly went wrong, Trescothick said, “You probably call it a severe case of anxiety. A constant worry about what was happening. I was on the edge most of the times.”