David Gower :: Biography

David Gower

David Ivon Gower is a former English cricketer who became the captain of the England cricket team during the 1980s. Described as one of the most stylish left-handed batsmen of his era, the fluffy-haired, ethereal-looking young man was England's one of the most consistent and consistently exasperating batsman of the 1980s.

Gower was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1957. His father, Richard Gower (OBE-Order of the British Empire), worked for the Colonial Service in the capital of the then British administered territory of Tanganyika, where Gower spent his early childhood. The family returned to England after Tanganyika was granted independence, when Gower was six years old, settled in Kent and later moved to Loughborough.Gower attended school at Marlborough House School in Hawkhurst from the age of 8 to 13, where he started to lean towards cricket as his preferred sport.

He was awarded a scholarship to attend The King's School in Canterbury. Gower made the school cricket First XI aged 14 and he was later to be made captain. He also played for the rugby First XV before dropped from the team for "lack of effort". Gower is nicknamed "Lord Gower" by his Sky Sports colleagues, in allusion to his aristocratic ancestry and public school education. He is a distant descendant of the Leveson-Gower family who were the Dukes of Sutherland.

Gower enjoyed one of the most prolific first-class cricket careers in English history, in both domestic and international competitions. Gower's total career run is also the third highest by an English player, behind only Stewart with 8,463, and Gooch with 8,900.With 18 centuries he is also joint fourth with fellow captain Michael Vaughan in the most hundreds scored by an England player. He played domestic cricket from 1975 until 1993, largely with Leicestershire until 1989, where he moved to Hampshire, a stalwart batsman at both clubs.

Gower made his first-class debut for Leicestershire on 30 July 1975, during that season's County Championship, against Lancashire at Stanley Park, Blackpool. Winning the toss, Lancashire chose to bat first and amassed 259 thanks largely to a century by David Lloyd, who would later become Gower's co-commentator. Gower, batting at number seven, scored 32 before he was dismissed by Ken Shuttleworth. The match however ended in a draw.