Graham Thorpe has built his career on battling through adversity so it was perhaps fitting the controversy over his winter plans should overshadow his entry into England's 100-Test cap club.
The 35-year-old left-hander should have spent this week accepting the congratulations of the cricket world as he prepares to make his 100th appearance for England in the second npower Test against Bangladesh, which starts at Chester- le-Street's Riverside ground tomorrow.
Instead of enjoying the achievement of becoming only the eighth England player in history to play 100 Tests - behind luminaries like Alec Stewart, Graham Gooch, David Gower, Michael Atherton, Sir Colin Cowdrey, Geoff Boycott and Ian Botham - Thorpe's finest hour has been clouded by the shock announcement of his winter plans.
Only two days before the opening Test against Bangladesh at Lord's last week, Thorpe informed coach Duncan Fletcher he would be accepting an offer from New South Wales to coach and provide back-up when their senior players were away on international duty rather than make himself available for England's winter tours to Pakistan and India.
His decision was understandable with several younger candidates now pushing for his place, but Thorpe received widespread criticism for the timing of his announcementand the controversy has dragged on right into this week's celebrations with chairman of selectors David Graveney going public about their "disappointment."
But Thorpe said: "I heard Grav's comments and I understand what he means by the timing, but there was nothing untoward about that and I wasn't holding anything back.
"I had it all confirmed to me on Tuesday morning which was when it was all released and I can go back to my hotel room, look myself in the mirror and know I've done nothing wrong.
"I don't think I could have handled things any differently. Things were clarified and actually confirmed to me on that morning and I really wanted first and foremost to tell Duncan of my plans.
"I don't think it's a huge surprise to anyone that I have been trying to plan something for the winter because they may not have even taken me away this winter anyway."
Since Thorpe made his announcement, former players have already questioned his desire to continue for the remainder of the summer and through a tough Ashes series which could provide a fitting swansong to his international career.
But Thorpe says his situation has not really changed, adding: "I want to play in as many matches as I can and to do that I have to stay fit and I have to keep playing well and that's an ongoing situation.
"I've known that has been the case ever since I came back from South Africa last winter whether I had a job opportunity to go to in the winter or not. If I don't play well or I fall over in a heap I won't get picked."
Those concerned about whether the desire and determination still burns in Thorpe should not worry.
He has thrived on a battle from the moment he made a century on his Test debut against Australia at Trent Bridge 12 years ago. Four winters ago he helped England become the first side to win in Karachi and clinch a series win in Pakistan before hitting a century to clinch the series in Colombo.
Thorpe said: "This has probably been the best side I've played in for the success, but the achievement in winning in Asia a few years ago was probably the best I have been involved in with a team."
Thorpe's achievement will be recognised by a presentation before tomorrow's start of play with all the remaining members of the hundred club present except Gooch, who has a coaching commitment with Essex, and Cowdrey, who died a few years ago.