FORMER England captain Mike Gatting has been named president of the historic Marylebone Cricket Club.
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.
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 but regained his place in the England team after serving a three-year ban. He retired in 1998.