The Wrong'un at Long On

Athers to Nasser via Stewart; from hopeless misery to miserable hope.

The first England captain I can remember watching was Michael Atherton. Uninspiring to a tee, there was still something comforting in his dour & stubborn approach to leadership, which was an unruffleable tussle with the mediocre-at-best period English cricket found itself slumped in. Athers solidity and defiance was certainly heroic, yet he was obviously no hero. Best remembered for dodging Allan Donald propelled leather missiles and the occasional match-saving vigil, Atherton never came close to giving the impression that he was capable of transforming England’s woes. In fact his team were collectively rather useless, and although I enjoy his mutterings as a commentator and nostalgia wants me to remember him as a captain who showed grace, grit and humility under intense pressures, I just can’t ignore the stats: England won less than 27% of the Tests in which he played.

Whilst Atherton was often crabby and cantankerous, there won’t be many…

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