Mike Gatting - England - Brief biography of his Test cricket career.

Photo/Foto: Nigel French

Date: 04 June 1993

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      Right Hand Bat, Right Arm Medium
      Thursday, 06 June 1957
      Kingsbury, England.
  • England
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Mike GATTING - England - Brief biography of his Test cricket career.



 England cricket fans were never able to adopt that famous chant 'Who ate all the pies?' because everyone knew that Mike Gatting had. It was where he got the strength to play those savage square cuts. It was perhaps inevitable that when Gatting succeeded to the England captaincy he would be known as 'The Fat Controller.' In India David Gower once asked bowler Chris Cowdrey if he would like Gatting wider at slip. "If he was any wider he'd burst" replied Cowdrey. Yet the jokes about his appetite were just a reflection of the success Gatting brought to English cricket: a success foolishly tossed away by England's powers-that-be over some irrelevant tittle-tattle. For Fat Gat was the most successful England captain in the era when World Cricket turned totally professional. He won an Ashes series in Australia; he fought a strong Pakistan side to a drawn series and he led England to the final of the 1987 World Cup. Throughout that period he led the way as England's leading run-scorer, was tactically sound and brought the best out of some of his players who were probably county-class at best. Gatting will be remembered for his on-field argument with umpire Shakoor Rana at Faisalabad, but should also be remembered for returning to face the West Indies fast bowlers after having his nose reduced to pulp by a ball from Malcolm Marshall. He scored 207 in the Madras Test in 1984-85, 160 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1985, 183 not out against India at Edgbaston in 1987.


In 1989 he agreed to lead the England rebel team in South Africa and was banned from Test cricket for three years. (Bob Harragan)Mike Gatting returned from a three year ban for touring South Africa just in time to be bowled by Shane Warne's 'Ball of the Century' in 1993. He was recalled to Graham Gooch's England team for the tour of India and Sri Lanka in 1992-93, his selection ironically bringing to an end the Test career of that other member of the Three Gs, David Gower. Gatting made 81 in Calcutta and 61 in Bombay, being the only batsman to cope with the spinners as England struggled. He made 59 in that Lord's Test against Australia, but was still discarded, his discomfort at the hands of Warne being more noticable than the runs. He returned to the fray for one last hurrah, scoring 117 in the Adelaide Test in 1994-95, by which time his whiskers were grey. He had been put back to number three in the order following a spate of England injuries and responded magnificently. Gatting had won a bronze medal for ballroom dancing as a young man, and his neat footwork always belied his stocky frame. At his best fighting weight he was 15 stone. He played football for Edgware Town as a teenager and had a trial for Queens Park Rangers. His brother Steve was a professional soccer player, most notably with Arsenal. (Bob Harragan)