Cricket

Gatting next MCC president

2013-05-02 11:16
Mike Gatting (Getty Images)
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Football v Cricket

2013-04-30 07:46

Tottenham Hotspur and England defender Michael Dawson faces England cricketer Stuart Broad in a net session at Lord's.

London - Former England captain Mike Gatting was on Wednesday named president of the historic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

The 55-year-old, who played his county cricket for Middlesex whose home is the MCC-owned Lord's Ground, will assume his duties on October 1.

He was chosen by the current president, Mike Griffith, who announced the appointment at the Club's AGM this afternoon.

Gatting will serve as president during a momentous year for both Lord's Ground and Middlesex.

MCC - who revised the laws of cricket in 1788, reissue them from time to time and hold the copyright to them - will celebrate the Bicentenary of Lord's in 2014, and Middlesex the 150th anniversary of its formation.

Gatting made his first-class debut in 1975 and stayed with Middlesex for his entire 23-year career, scoring 94 centuries and taking 158 wickets. He made his England debut in 1978 in Karachi, and, in total, played 79 Tests for his country.

He was appointed England captain in 1986 and, although he managed to win only two of his 23 tests in charge, they were the two that secured England's Ashes victory in Australia in 1986/87.

He also captained England to the 1987 World Cup final against Australia but his ill-judged reverse sweep which saw him caught off Allan Border's first ball was the pivotal moment in the Australians winning the trophy.

His captaincy ended in disgrace when, already in the spotlight for an undignified row with Pakistani umpire Shakoor Rana on the England tour of Pakistan in 1987, tabloid stories over a dalliance with a barmaid brought his tenure to a close.

He tarnished his image further in 1990 when he led a rebel tour of South Africa - which was still seen as a pariah to official tours because of the apartheid regime - but regained his place in the England team after serving a three-year ban.

He has, though, since retiring as a player in 1998 proved himself to be a highly capable administrator in the sport.

Griffith said he was delighted someone who was so indelibly linked to Lord's should succeed him.

"Few people are so closely identified with Lord's as Mike Gatting, and I am therefore delighted that he accepted my invitation to serve as president of MCC," he said.

"He made Lord's his home for Middlesex, and made more appearances for the county than any other player.

"He was an excellent and a particularly brave batsman for England, and he has continued to serve cricket with a dedication and passion that is unstinting for both ECB and MCC.

"Mike's absolute priority is the good of cricket - he cares for and thinks deeply about the game. He has already done so much for MCC and Middlesex - it is fitting that someone of his cricketing stature should be president during this great Ground's Bicentenary in 2014."

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