December 31, 2003

Alleyne overwhelmed by MBE

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Mark Alleyne with the three trophies Gloucestershire won in 2001
© Getty Images

Mark Alleyne, Gloucestershire's captain and new player/coach, has been included in the New Year Honours list in recognition of his success with the county in the past five years, in which time they have won six one-day titles.

Alleyne, 35, played 10 one-dayers for England between 1999 and 2000. Speaking today, he admitted that both he and his wife, Louise, were astonished and overwhelmed when they heard the news of his MBE. "I was very surprised. I never thought I would be considered for anything like this," he said. "We were both pretty much in tears when we found out. But it was when my wife started to cry that I realised how important it was.

"I have seen her cry only twice before. One was when our first child was born, and the other was when we beat Somerset in the NatWest final in 1999. That meant a lot to Gloucestershire people."

That victory set the wheels rolling for Gloucestershire and their incredible success. Alleyne, along with John Bracewell, the former coach, masterminded Gloucestershire to three Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy victories, the latest against Worcestershire last summer. And that was capped off with promotion to the first divsion of the County Championship.

"We had a vision for the club, to be one of the premier teams in England," Alleyne added. "We do kind of look back at what we have achieved, and it has been outstanding. I am really proud of that - it has been a great moment to be involved with Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

"Now we have a chance to build on all that. It is a new challenge altogether, and I want to keep it going. To truly be a top club you need to be in the top bracket in both forms of the game, and I am pleased to have helped Gloucestershire up where they belong."

David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, expressed his congratulations to Alleyne. "It is a great award. It is not often that a person who has achieved success in the county game has been rewarded with an MBE," said Graveney. "I am sure he would be the first to say it is an honour for the team. He has played his part in Gloucestershire's success over the years.

"I have known him since he first broke into the Gloucestershire team when I was his first captain. I remember him very vividly. He was a very good cricketer he has played his part."