Mark Nicholas

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This article is about English cricketer. For American Detroit-based electronic musician Mark Nicholas working under music project Cosmicity, see Cosmicity.
Mark Nicholas
Personal information
Full name Mark Charles Jefford Nicholas
Born (1957-09-29) 29 September 1957 (age 59)
Westminster, London, England
Nickname Smashing, Elvis, Jardine
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm medium
Role County captain, now Sportscaster
Relations FWH Nicholas (grandfather)
Domestic team information
Years Team
1978–1995 Hampshire
Career statistics
Competition First-class List A
Matches 377 359
Runs scored 18,262 7,334
Batting average 34.39 27.78
100s/50s 36/81 1/40
Top score 206* 108
Balls bowled 5,855 3,878
Wickets 72 101
Bowling average 45.06 32.38
5 wickets in innings 2 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling 6/37 4/30
Catches/stumpings 215/– 113/–
Source: CricketArchive, 7 January 2009

Mark Charles Jefford Nicholas (born 29 September 1957) is an English cricket commentator and former player. He played for Hampshire from 1978 to 1995, captaining them from 1985 to his retirement.

Nicholas was born in Westminster, London. His grandfather Fred Nicholas captained Essex CCC, his mother is the actress Anne Nicholas and his stepfather the broadcaster Brian Widlake. He was educated at Bradfield College where he was coached in cricket by John Harvey.

Playing career[edit]

A middle-order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler, Nicholas captained Hampshire to four major trophies – the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1988 and 1992, Sunday League (now Pro40) in 1986, and NatWest Trophy (now Friends Provident Trophy) in 1991. Despite captaining England A on tour to Zimbabwe in 1989–1991, Nicholas might be considered one of his generation's better players never to play a Test for England.

Known for his suave appearance and urbane manner, Nicholas is one of a long line of colourfully dressed characters to captain Hampshire County Cricket Club, including Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie and C. B. Fry.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Since his retirement as a player, Nicholas has worked in broadcasting, first as a commentator for Sky Sports, and from 1999 to 2005 as the anchorman for Channel 4's cricket coverage. He worked freelance in 1995 for Sky and others, before signing for Sky Sports in 1996 as anchorman, where his first major role was presenting domestic and international cricket.

He led Sky's coverage of England's winter tours to Zimbabwe and New Zealand in 1996–1997, and continued this in the West Indies in 1998. His last role with Sky Sports was presenting the network's live and exclusive coverage of the 1998–1999 Ashes series in Australia.

He also commentates for Australia's Nine Network during the Australian summer cricket season. He now anchors the Nine coverage, being a future anticipated replacement for Richie Benaud as the face of cricket on Nine, despite having once been dropped from the commentary team for reasons that were never fully explained before his reinstatement. His rise to the top of sports broadcasting – in Australia at least – is quite remarkable considering that he never played at international level during his cricketing career. Every other senior member of Nine's on-air team has played at the elite level, many of them captaining Australia.

Until 2008 he wrote a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph. He was named Sports Presenter of the Year in 2001 by the Royal Television Society, as well as being one of only two presenters to stand in for Richard and Judy. Nicholas also presented the second series of the UK version of the reality show Survivor. He continued his commitments to Australia's Nine Network in March 2006, anchoring the afternoon coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. He also rated fourth in a Melbourne newspaper poll that set out to find the public's choice on the new host of the Australian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

While as Channel 4 anchor for the cricket, Nicholas presented "Today at the Test" which would cover the highlights of the day's play at the England Test matches or the trophy finals.

Mark Nicholas was approached by Five to cover England cricket highlights from 2006, the programme being named Cricket on Five. He commentates on the programme with former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott and analyst Simon Hughes, both of whom worked with Nicholas at Channel 4 plus ex-England captain Michael Vaughan.

Nicholas served as anchorman and commentator for the Nine Network coverage of the 2013–2014 Ashes series and continues to serve this role for other Australian home Test series. He was part of the world feed commentary team for both the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, and the 2011 World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. He presented Highlights coverage of 2012 Summer Olympics in London for the Nine Network.

Nicholas is also the anchorman for EA Sports Cricket 07 game. He introduces the matches the user is playing, and also commentates during the game with Richie Benaud, taking over from Jim Maxwell.

Nicholas began presenting ITV1's Britain's Best Dish in 2007 and fronted it for four series until in 2010, he was replaced by Mary Nightingale. He is currently into his eighth year as main presenter and commentator of Cricket on Five.


Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, described commentator Mark Nicholas' pre-tournament characterisation of his team as "short of brains" as an emotional flashpoint for his side during the World T20. Nicholas had made the comment in a column for ESPNcricinfo on March 3, writing: "West Indies are short of brains but have IPL history in their ranks."


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Nick Pocock
Hampshire cricket captain
Succeeded by
John Stephenson
Preceded by
Jim Rosenthal
RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Presenter

Succeeded by
Sue Barker
Preceded by
Gary Lineker
RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Presenter

Succeeded by
Hazel Irvine