Full name David Ivon Gower
Born April 1, 1957, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Current age 60 years 118 days
Major teams England, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Marylebone Cricket Club
Nickname Stoat, Lubo, Lu
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Height 5 ft 11 in
Education King's School, Canterbury; University College, London
|Test debut||England v Pakistan at Birmingham, Jun 1-5, 1978 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Pakistan at The Oval, Aug 6-9, 1992 scorecard|
|ODI debut||England v Pakistan at Manchester, May 24-25, 1978 scorecard|
|Last ODI||New Zealand v England at Auckland, Feb 16, 1991 scorecard|
|First-class span||1975 - 1993|
|List A span||1975 - 1993|
The fluffy-haired, ethereal-looking young man who pulled his first ball in Test cricket for four in 1978 was to be England's most consistent and consistently exasperating batsman of the 1980s. Other batsmen go in and out of form: Gower always seemed to play the same - beautifully, until the moment he made a mistake. Sometimes, the mistake was put off long enough for him to play an innings of unforgettable brilliance. A left-hander with a strong top hand, Gower's strokes had a liquid, graceful feel: in an era of biffers, he was a caresser. When he edged a catch, he would be damned as irresponsible but, with his style, the difference between an exquisite stroke and a nick was little more than an inch. His character appeared as uncomplicated as his cricket, but his devil-may-care mien hid some complexities, even perhaps an inner loneliness. Lazy journalists called him "laid-back" but you don't score 8231 Test runs without a cladding of steel. And, as captain, his apparent insouciance hid a genuine belief that England should pick the best players and let them get on with it. This worked against the Australians in 1985 but was disastrous the following winter in West Indies and, even more so, when Gower regained the leadership for the 1989 Ashes series. He was out of tune with Graham Gooch's tote-that-barge regime that followed and county cricket bored him, so he retired prematurely into a career as a TV personality so successful that his cricket seemed mere preparation.
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1979
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