England’s Greatest Captain?

With Alastair Cook becoming England’s longest-serving Test skipper, The Cricketer has nominated their 10 best, asking some of the finest writers in cricket to make the case for them. Buy their December issue to hear their reasoning and read profiles on all 10 captains. Have you already made up your mind? No, then check out some brief descriptions below….


Douglas Jardine

WG Grace

The Wisden editor Lawrence Booth puts the case for the famous Doctor, the great allrounder, but previously unheralded for his leadership skills. Until now.

Douglas Jardine

Australian writer Gideon Haigh wonders if England’s most-hated captain (at least down under, for Bodyline) was also their greatest.

Percy Chapman

Popular and boyish, he started swimmingly, winning his first nine Tests as captain, then descended into a sea of alcoholism, writes Huw Turbervill.


Len Hutton

Len Hutton

Cricket and captaincy’s Gary Cooper, the first professional skipper since 1887, he led England to Ashes wins in 1953 and 54/55, by Rob Bagchi.

Peter May

The best batsman, loyal and knowledgeable about the game and field placings, the captaincy was his for as long as he wanted, says Ivo Tennant.


Mike Brearley

Ray Illingworth

Wisden said no captain of a touring team since Jardine had such a task as lllingworth in Australia in 1970/71… but England won, writes Huw Turbervill.

Mike Brearley

Middlesex team-mate Simon Hughes says it was as if he could see into his brain. Rodney Hogg was right, Brearley had a degree in people.

Nasser Hussain

Simon Barnes sas Nasser Hussain was driven by a fury to make England a proper Test match nation again, and the fact that he did so is his crowning glory.


Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan

His England did not just play good cricket and triumphantly win the 2005 Ashes, they brought back the good times, writes Jonathan Liew.

Andrew Strauss

The 2009 and 2010/11 Ashes-winning captain oozed old-world class, and good sense, and took England to No.1 in the Test rankings, writes James Coyne.

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