Marylebone Cricket Club May 6, 2004

Tom Graveney named as MCC president

The former England batsman Tom Graveney will be MCC's president in 2004-05. His appointment was announced on Wednesday afternoon by the current president, Charles Fry, at MCC's annual general meeting at Lord's. Graveney, who is 77 in June, will become the first former professional cricketer to hold the honorary post.

Graveney started his first-class career with Gloucestershire in 1948, and moved to Worcestershire in 1961. He retired from county cricket in 1970, but played a few more matches for Queensland, as their player/coach, until 1971-72. In all he scored 47,793 runs - a number exceeded by only eight other players - at an average of 44.91, and hit 122 centuries.

An elegant batsman who played largely off the front foot, Graveney won 79 Test caps for England between 1951-52 and 1969, scoring 4882 runs at 44.38, with 11 centuries. His highest score (in both Tests and first-class cricket) was 258 against West Indies at Trent Bridge in 1957. He captained England once, against Australia at Headingley in 1968 when Colin Cowdrey was injured, but his Test career ended in some controversy the following year, when he was banned after playing in his own benefit match on the Sunday - a rest day - in the middle of the first Test against West Indies. Already 42, he was never chosen again. He was a TV commentator for several years after his eventual retirement.

Graveney, who takes office at Lord's on October 1, was one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year in 1953. He is the uncle of David Graveney, England's current chairman of selectors.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes