Brearley's classic work still relevant

It is 25 years since former England cricket captain Mike Brearley sought to explain what he knew about team leadership in his acclaimed work, the Art Of Captaincy.

The book was hailed as a tour de force from the man who led England to their breathtaking triumph in the Ashes series of 1981, having taken over the captaincy from Ian Botham.

The game has evolved in some ways beyond recognition since that glorious summer.  Brearley, meanwhile, has gone on to become a highly respected psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, but his thoughts on cricket still command enormous respect.

So much so, in fact, that Marcus Trescothick's preparations for his first season as Somerset's captain have included a consultation with Brearley.

Former England opening batsman Trescothick was only five in 1981 but believes there is still much he can learn from 67-year-old Brearley, who lost only four of his 31 matches as England skipper.

"Everyone talks about Brearley when he was captain of England and I will try and tap into anyone who has that sort of knowledge," Trescothick told the Bristol Evening Post.

With his analyst's hat on, Brearley would doubtless like to learn more about how Trescothick has tackled the psychological problems that dogged the latter stages of his own international career, which he described with such feeling in his commended book, Coming Back to Me: The Autobiography of Marcus Trescothick.

The Art of Captaincy was reprinted in 2001, with a foreword by the film director, Sam Mendes.

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