JONATHAN AGNEW M.B.E.

Jonathan Agnew was born on 4 April 1960 at Macclesfield, Cheshire. He was educated at Uppingham School, Rutland. He is 6 ft 4 in tall and is nicknamed Aggers or, less commonly, Spiro (after Spiro Agnew, the ex U.S. Vice President).

Jonathan played, as a right-arm fast bowler, for Leicestershire (1978-1990 and 1992) and England (1984-85), playing in 3 Tests and 3 ODIs. He played 218 first-class matches for Leicestershire during which he took 666 wickets at 29.25. He landed a wicket with his fourth ball in first-class cricket! He took 5 wickets in an innings 37 times, with a best of 9/70, and had 10 wickets in a match hauls on 6 occasions. He had a very good strike rate of a wicket every 53.1 balls. He played 3 Tests, one against West Indies, one versus Sri Lanka and one against Australia, during which he took 4 wickets.

In 1987 Jonathan had his best season taking 101 first-class wickets. Frustratingly despite bowling very well in both 1987 and 1988, he got no recall from England even though England was being hammered, at home, by Australia in 1989.

Looking towards his future, Jonathan began work in 1987 as a sports producer with BBC Radio Leicester. He fell in love with radio broadcasting. In 1988 he wrote "8 Days a Week", a witty account of the life of a professional county cricketer. In 1990/91 he got a break to cover that winter's England tour of Australia, as chief cricket writer, for the now defunct "Today" tabloid newspaper. He retired from being a professional cricketer, at the age of 30, to become the BBC's Cricket Correspondent, taking over from the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Jonathan joined Test Match Special in 1991, having been approached by the producer, Peter Baxter.

In 1992, Jonathan had a last hurrah as a player. He was called up by an injury-plagued Leicestershire to play in the NatWest semi-final. Creditably, he bowled his full 12 overs' allocation in taking 1/31 as his old club reached the final.

Jonathan has written several books including "8 Days a Week" (1988), "Over to You, Aggers" (1997) and "Cricket : A Modern Anthology" (2013).

Jonathan has become, as the BBC's Cricket Correspondent, the nation's "voice of cricket". He has spent over 40 years in professional cricket as a player and in the media.

We are very lucky that he has found time from his busy schedule to come to speak to us - it has taken around 10 months to find a mutually convenient date. Thanks, Aggers!

Ken Burney

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