Michael William Gatting OBE was born on 6 June 1957 at Kingsbury, London. As a youth, he was talented at both cricket and football. He played for Middlesex and England as a right-handed batsman and right-arm medium pace bowler. He served Middlesex from 1975 to 1998 (captain from 1983 to 1997) and England from 1977 to 1995 (captain from 1986 to 1988). Cricket writer Colin Bateman described Gatting as being “pugnacious, bold, brave and belligerent”.

Over 551 first-class matches, Mike amassed 36,549 runs at 49.52 with 94 centuries and 181 fifties, his top score being 258. He took 158 wickets at 29.76 with a best of 5/34. He also took 493 catches. He holds the Middlesex first wicket partnership record with Justin Langer – 372 against Essex at Southgate in 1998.

During Mike’s 15 seasons of Middlesex captaincy, having taken over from Mike Brearley, the Club won 3 County Championships, 2 Nat West Trophies, 2 Benson and Hedges Cups and 1 Sunday League. He had some strong characters in the dressing room to lead, but he moulded the side into a winning unit, always leading from the front.

Mike made his England debut, as a 20 year old, in an ODI against Pakistan at Sahiwal in December 1977. The following month, he made his Test debut against Pakistan at Karachi. Despite his undoubted talent, it took him several years to establish himself for England. His first Test century came in his 54th innings. However, he went on to score 10 Test hundreds with a best of 207 against India in Madras. His greatest triumph for England was captaining the side to victory in Australia on the 1986/87 tour. Only 5 England captains have achieved this since WWII. Following this tour he was awarded an OBE in 1987.

After his playing career ended, Mike was the Middlesex county coach in 1999 and 2000. He was President of the MCC in 2013/14 and he is currently an elected member of the Middlesex Executive Board and the MCC Committee. He is also chairman, since 2017, of MCC’s World Cricket Committee.

Ken Burney

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