Comedy & Speakers : Graham Gooch OBE (Speaker)

A powerful batsman, Gooch reached his peak as England captain with scores of 333 and 123 ( a record Test match aggregate) against India at Lord's in 1990.  That year he also became the first player to score over 1000 Test runs in an English summer (306 v New Zealand, 752 at 125.33 v India) and  became only the fifth player to ever average over 100 in an English first-class season as his 2746 runs at 101.70 was the highest since 1961.

He made his test debut in 1975, but had to wait until 1978 for a second chance, from when he established himself as an England regular, except for a three-year ban after he had captained an English 'rebel' tour to South Africa in 1982.  After captaining  England twice in 1988, he returned to the job in 1990 and led the team by the personal example of his magnificent batting, although often it seemed with no great tactical acumen.  He resigned after England lost four of the first five Tests of the Ashes series in 1993, with an overall Team record of 10 wins in his 34 matches as captain.  He did, however continue to bat marvellously well in that series with 673 runs at 56.08 in the six Tests.  In perhaps one tour too many he announced his retirement from Test cricket during the 1994/5 series against Australia.

He has played for Essex from 1973, captaining them in 1986-7 and 1989-94.  With them he has won six county championships (1979, 1983-4, 1991-2) as well as the Sunday League in 1984 and 1985.  To the end of the 1994 season he holds the runs records for all three English one-day competitions: 7906 in the Sunday League, including the record score of 176 in 1983: 2383 in the Gillette/NatWest Cup; and 4934 (to end 1995) in the Benson & Hedges Cup, including the record score of 198 in 1982. In 1994, when he exceeded 1000 runs in a season for the 19th time (five over 200), he passed 40,000 runs in first-class cricket, including 12 double centuries.  He is also a useful medium-pace swing bowler.  He was awarded the OBE in 1991.