Tony Lewis

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Tony Lewis
Personal information
Full name Anthony Robert Lewis
Born (1938-07-06) 6 July 1938 (age 76)
Swansea, Wales
Batting style Right-handed batsman (RHB)
Bowling style Leg break
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Matches 9 409
Runs scored 457 20495
Batting average 32.64 32.42
100s/50s 1/3 30/86
Top score 125 223
Balls bowled 521
Wickets 6
Bowling average n/a 72.00
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling n/a 3/18
Catches/stumpings –/– 193/–
Source: [1]

Anthony Robert (Tony) Lewis CBE (born 6 July 1938)[1] is a former Welsh cricketer, who went on to become the face of BBC Television cricket coverage in the 1990s, and become president of the MCC.

Lewis was born in Swansea, and attended Christ's College, Cambridge, where he graduated as BA and later MA, and also played rugby football and cricket for Cambridge University. He played county cricket for Glamorgan, and is the only Glamorgan cricketer to captain England. He led the 1972-73 MCC tour of India, Ceylon and Pakistan, playing for England in all eight Test matches. In 2011 he became the 31st Honorary Life Vice-President of MCC to be nominated by the Club.

He should not be confused with Tony Lewis, co-developer of the Duckworth-Lewis Method.

Life and career[edit]

Tony Lewis made his first-class cricket debut in 1955 at the age of 17, playing for Glamorgan against Leicestershire in the County Championship[2] while still at Neath Grammar School for Boys. He was also chosen as a violinist by the National Youth Orchestra of Wales in the same year.[3] After doing his national service in the RAF,[4] he established himself in first-class cricket in 1960, when in his first year at Cambridge he scored 1307 runs at 43.56, followed by 616 runs at 30.80 when he played for Glamorgan later in the season. He captained Cambridge in his final season there in 1962, when in all matches he made 2188 runs at 40.51, with five centuries. He also topped 2000 runs in 1966, when he made 2190 runs, more than anybody else in the season, at 40.51, including his only double-century, 223 against Kent at Gravesend after Glamorgan had followed on. He captained Glamorgan from 1967 to 1972, taking the county to its second championship in 1969, when Glamorgan went through the season undefeated.

He was the last man to captain England on his Test debut. He led England on a gruelling five-month tour in 1972/73 to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Despite having no Test match experience, Lewis scored 70 not out in his debut Test in Delhi,[5] which guided England to their first victory on the Indian subcontinent for more than two decades. England lost the next two Tests, but Lewis went on to score his maiden Test hundred (125) in Kanpur.[1] He went on to captain England a total of eight times, achieving England's first Test victory in India since 1951, losing twice and drawing five times. In the light of his achievements, Lewis was picked as vice captain to Ray Illingworth, when the latter returned from his self-imposed hiatus the following summer.[1]Lewis was asked by the Selectors to make himself available to lead the 1973-74 tour of West Indies but declined in order to take up opportunities in writing and broadcasting. Lewis is one of two English cricket captains to come out of Neath Grammar School, the other being C. F. Walters, nominated for a single Test when captains were always chosen from the amateurs in the team.

Lewis also played rugby union for Neath and Gloucester before winning a blue for Cambridge in The Varsity Match in 1959. Chronic knee trouble, which had curtailed his rugby career, meant that Lewis retired from cricket at the age of 35, but writing and broadcasting had always been his main pursuit since 1965, when he began writing rugby union reports for the Daily Telegraph.[6] In 1975 he was appointed Cricket and Rugby correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph He was a founding member of the Sports Council for Wales in 1968 and put in long service to Glamorgan County Cricket Club as chairman, president and trustee. His broadcasting extended from Test Match Special to the role of anchor man of all BBC tv Cricket and he was the initial presenter (10 yrs) of the popular Radio 4 magazine programme, Sport of Four.He served eight years as Chairman of the Wales Tourist Board and as a member of the British Tourist Authority. He was chairman of the successful Wales Ryder Cup Bid 2010 and for a three year term he was Chairman of the Welsh National Opera Company. He was also a founding Trustee of the Wales Millennium Centre. His first Committee work for the Marylebone Cricket Club was in 1964, and his last in 2011 and apart from being MCC Millennium President, 1998–2000, he chaired both the Cricket Committee for five years and initiated and chaired MCC's World Cricket Committee, 2006–2011. In 2011 the MCC committee bestowed on him its highest possible recognition for his contributions by making him the 31st Honorary Life Vice-President of the Club. During this time he was a consultant to World Sports Group and Windsor (later Longreach) Insurancce.

Lewis served a year as High Sheriff of Mid Glamorgan for 1998.[7] He was awarded the CBE for services to cricket, broadcasting and Wales, in the 2004 New Year Honours. He was an honorary Fellow of several Welsh universities: Cardiff, Swansea, Glamorgan, UWIC and Newport.

From 2003 Tony Lewis was a consultant to University College of Wales, Newport, and, having returned to live in Porthcawl in 2010 accepted the offices of Captain, Royal Porthcawl Golf Club and Chairman, Wales, of the Lord's Taverners charity, both organisations among his lifetime allegiances.

He married Joan Pritchard, also of Neath, in 1962.[8] They have two daughters Joanna and Anabel.[9]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Summer of Cricket (1976)
  • Playing Days: An Autobiography (1985)
  • Double Century : The Story of MCC and Cricket (1987)
  • Cricket in Many Lands (1991)
  • MCC Masterclass (1994)
  • Taking Fresh Guard: a Memoir (2003)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. pp. 110–111. ISBN 1-869833-21-X. 
  2. ^ Leicestershire v Glamorgan, 1955
  3. ^ Tony Lewis, Playing Days, Stanley Paul, London, 1985, pp. 10–16.
  4. ^ Lewis, Playing Days, pp. 38–45.
  5. ^ India v England, Delhi, 1972–73
  6. ^ Lewis, Playing Days, pp. 89–92.
  7. ^ "A R Lewis, Esq, CBE, DL". Debretts. Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Playing Days, pp. 84–85.
  9. ^ Lewis, Playing Days, p. 93.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Wales Martyn Woodroffe
BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
1969
Succeeded by
Wales David Broome
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ray Illingworth
English national cricket captain
1972/3
Succeeded by
Ray Illingworth