Gatting appointed MCC president

London, May 2 (IANS) Former England skipper Mike Gatting has been appointed the next president of the historic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). He will take office Oct 1, 2013.

Gatting was chosen by current MCC president Mike Griffith, who announced the appointment at the Club’s AGM Wednesday afternoon.

Gatting will serve as president during a momentous year for both Lord’s Ground and its home county side Middlesex.

MCC will celebrate the bicentenary of the present ground in 2014, and Middlesex CCC the 150th anniversary of its formation.

Griffith spoke of his admiration for Gatting.

“Few people are so closely identified with Lord’s as Mike Gatting, and I am therefore delighted that he accepted my invitation to serve as President of MCC. He made Lord’s his home for Middlesex, and made more appearances for the county than any other player,” Griffith said in a statement on MCC website.

Gatting made his first-class debut in 1975 and stayed with Middlesex for his entire 23-year career, scoring 94 centuries and taking 158 wickets.

A prolific run-getter at county level, his England debut came in 1978 in Karachi, and, in total, Gatting played 79 Tests for his country.

He was appointed England captain in 1986 and, although he managed to win only two of his 23 matches in charge, they were the two that secured England’s Ashes victory in Australia in 1986-87.

Griffith added: “He was an excellent and a particularly brave batsman for England, and he has continued to serve cricket with a dedication and passion that is unstinting for both ECB and MCC.

“Mike’s absolute priority is the good of cricket – he cares for and thinks deeply about the game. He has already done so much for MCC and Middlesex – it is fitting that someone of his cricketing stature should be President during this great Ground’s Bicentenary in 2014.”

Gatting retired from first-class cricket in 1998, having hit more than 36,500 first-class runs at an average of 49.52, and is now managing director of Cricket Partnerships at ECB.

He currently serves on the MCC Committee and the Cricket committee, and was a member of the Club’s World Cricket committee from its foundation in 2006 until 2012.

Aside from his England touring days, he has worn MCC colours in 34 matches, including when captaining the Club in its first match against Afghanistan in Mumbai in 2006.

He also captained MCC against the Rest of the World at Lord’s during the Club’s Bicentenary in 1987, scoring 179 against some of the best bowling in the world.

In 2014, during Gatting’s presidency, the Club will again take on the Rest of the World as part of the Ground’s Bicentenary celebrations.

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