ALAN WILKINS

Alan Wilkins was born in Cardiff in 1953, so it was natural that he would play for Glamorgan as a lively medium pace left arm bowler. With typical self-deprecation he described himself as ‘a journeyman county cricketer’. Alan’s 9 year career (1975-84) began and ended in Glamorgan with a spell at Gloucestershire (1980-81) in between. Alan played for Glamorgan in the 1977 Gillette Cup Final losing to Middlesex. Overall he took 243 First Class wickets in 107 matches, with a career best of 8/57 for Gloucestershire v Lancashire at Old Trafford, before a debilitating shoulder injury forced him into early retirement from the game.

But it was to sports commentary that Alan would turn and find his niche - being described by a fellow broadcaster as ‘the best TV sports presenter that Wales has ever produced’. His new career began in 1984 working for SABC in South Africa commentating on cricket and rugby mainly but also including tennis and golf. He won three broadcasting awards for his work in this period to 1987. He then moved back to continue his broadcasting career in Wales for the BBC including presentation of the Welsh rugby programme ‘Scrum V’ as well as covering Glamorgan home matches.

From 1994 his broadcasting career blossomed further - covering sport for SABC again, ESPN ‘Star Sports’ in India, ‘Supersport’ in South Africa - which included events like rugby and cricket tours as well as tennis and golf majors and latterly the IPL and PSL. Many Members will have heard Alan’s TV commentary on the exciting ICC Women’s World Cup Final in 2017 from Lord’s. Alan endeared himself to his audience as a commentator with decency, humour and humility. In contrast to some of the bigger names who played Test cricket and now work as commentators, he is a professional broadcaster who happens to have played first-class cricket. In 2018 he published his memoir: ‘Easier Said Than Done: A Life in Sport’.

Chris Coleman

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