David Foot: Trego's ton was one of Somerset's finest deeds
There was too much going on in sport at the end of last week – like Wimbledon – and Peter Trego's bold and extraordinary innings was largely squeezed out of national recognition and deserved acclaim. That was an injustice.
His hundred against Yorkshire, as the rain clouds hovered, was by any yardstick sensational, a word not often found in this column. It came off 54 balls to give Somerset a priceless win.
Trego achievement was more than a demonstration of fiery, though still discrim- inate, hitting. It surely ranks with his native county's most dazzling heroic individual deeds – up there with Harold Gimblett's own Walter Lawrence Trophy century on his debut.
But this time, Somerset were chasing, confronted by a monumental last-day target. Had we forgotten, though, when, in 2002, Trego intrepidly thumped and belted 140 after going in at No 9 to make possible a remarkable tie against West Indies A?
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So… maverick or modern man?
He can appear likeably cocky and composed, with all the body language as if he has just called in on his way from the Glastonbury pop festival. There's nothing too much wrong with the temperament or even the technique when he gets to the crease. What is most compelling about him is the cricketer himself.
Once he was promising enough to play for England Under-19 against Sri Lanka. Even then he knew his worth. Some started dubbing him the next Ian Botham, a sweeping adornment based on his natural self-confidence as much as his undeniable all-rounder merits
It's probably true to say that one or two officials weren't quite sure what to make of him.
He seemed to them too brash, too invested with an independent streak
Then, as some of his loyal West Country supporters pondered his progress, Trego gave the impression that he was losing his way and ready to forsake his native heath. He left Somerset for reasons we can only assume were mutual
Deciding there were better prospects elsewhere, he joined Kent. Appearances for them were limited. He wasn't always the most popular player at Canterbury
This was when his career went for a time into reverse. Where was he going next ? Minor Counties cricket for Herefordshire was no more than a compromise. In the winter months, he did some labouring and played football as a semi-pro for Margate, Clevedon, Weston-super-Mare and Chippenham.
I read of his agile goalkeeping, so phoned and asked him how seriously he took his football. In these pages, I wrote a piece suggesting the two Bristol clubs might profitably take a look.
It was really that I didn't like the way his sports career was drifting away from him. I wanted him to give cricket another go.
He has never lacked resourcefulness. His next, unpredicted move was Lord's He signed a short-term contract with Middlesex. His early form impressed the coaches.
They were a good deal less than pleased when, with an approval nod from Brian Rose, he returned to Somerset. He'd never wanted to leave in the first place, he said, with a retrospective change of mind.
In that same match against Yorkshire, Andrew Caddick made a calculated comeback. He finished with 0-94 in the first innings, 0-45 in the second. At the age of 40, it was the body not the heart which let him down
Recently he has been playing for Clevedon. Maybe his 8-34 against Ashcott and Shapwick encouraged him to believe he was ready for another four-day County Championship fixture. But there was a quiet eloquence around the Taunton ground where for years he has come in, full of bounce and subtle movement, in Richard Hadlee mode.
There have been 1,170 first-class wickets and 62 Tests.
He has taken his place with Somerset's greatest bowlers. A stand has been rightly named after him.
He has a taciturn Kiwi manner and may be sparing at times with his smiles. He isn't an extrovert like Trego.
But his distinguished career is almost at an end and we're going to miss him.