Pete Trego is the complete embodiment of a county cricketer. A man who has given over twenty years to the English county game without ever enjoying the reward of representing his country at first team level.
Last week, it was announced that Trego would be leaving Somerset at the end of the year and despite numerous messages from people on social media and a nice social media video from Ben Warren of the club itself, it just doesn’t seem enough for a man who warmed the hearts of county cricket-lovers season after season.
For those who choose to watch their cricket in Taunton, it will be a sore loss to have to turn up in 2020 in the knowledge that Peter Trego no longer plays there. Born in Weston-Super-Mare, ‘Treegs’ made his debut in 2000 for Somerset and enjoyed spells at Kent and Middlesex in the early part of his career.
On returning to Somerset in 2006 he has gone on to become Somerset’s all-time leading run-scorer in T20 cricket and has scored their third highest number of centuries in List A cricket.
Not that his First Class record was much worse – a record that saw him represent the England Lions. If we’re talking real material gain though, when this county cricketer pitted himself against the world’s best in Somerset colours in 2011, he hit two half-centuries to fire them to the Champions League semi-finals.
He may have been part of a team that were ‘always the bridesmaid’ but he was crucial in making sure Somerset took advantage of the exclusive financial opportunity that the short-lived Champions League T20 offered.
His exploits made sure Chris Gayle knew who Somerset were and see social media/YouTube videos of these two at the driving range-a seriously entertaining bromance that would make even the most cold-hearted chuckle.
There aren’t many who have struck Morne Morkel for six fours in an over, especially in a red ball, first-class game. There aren’t many who can rip up Mambos dancefloor whilst dressed immaculately in a vibrant suit, not spilling a millilitre of their pint of Thatchers all the while.
There’s only one Pete Trego.
He is the ultimate county cricketer. He’s the man who can graft to make 154 against Lancashire or work up a sweat all day as a bowler to take those all-important wickets. He’s also the man that makes people abandon queuing to get a pint of cider in-if he comes out to bat in a one-day game, you don’t want to miss Trego at the wicket.
Trego’s a man that turns into an all-round showman when the ground is full to the rafters and bouncing for a T20. Amid all the overseas signings and the centrally contracted international players that the county cricket fan adores but is removed from, Trego has been the glue that connects county cricket to its loyal supporters.
He has hosted awards evenings and done all sorts of varying community work in the South West as well as of course signing autographs as often as they are requested.
Pete Trego worked his way from a junior lower middle-order player to a top order batsman in white ball cricket for the Somerset first team and their leading first-class all-rounder for more than a decade.
Also an important senior mentor for others, he leads the Somerset players in a chorus of local anthem ‘Blackbird’ when they win. One that got his just deserves when he could finally parade a trophy in front of supporters at Lords in May after so many second places.
For me, having never known Somerset without him, I will miss the comfort of knowing Trego is there. I will miss the comfort of hearing BBC Somerset commentator Anthony Gibson saying Trego has hammered someone over cow corner for six. I will miss the collective buzz that goes round Taunton when he bats.
For Somerset supporters like myself, it is sad to see him go. And for other county cricket supporters I’d like to think you could replace Trego with your local stalwart.
The only solace for Somerset is that the reason he is going is genuine. There are many young players coming through and I’m sure many of them would more than welcome the chance to be the next Peter Trego.