David Gower- A Lifetime In The Game
Here at Thrillz we have legendary English batsman and commentator David Gower. In the mid 1970s the teenager with golden curls from the King's School in Canterbury started scoring runs with effortless grace for Leicestershire in the mid 1970s. He had a natural style and it was evident from the moment he pulled his first ball in Test cricket for 4. In the summer of 1978 he scored 438 runs in six Tests at an average of 54, scoring 111 against New Zealand at the Oval. He played in the 1979 World Cup Final and in 1983 made 130 in the cup-tie against Sri Lanka at Taunton.
Time and again Gower would be left out of the team until necessity called, then reinstated. He had one brief year back in charge, plucked out of the blue to retake the captaincy in the 1989 Ashes series. He made superb 100s at Melbourne and Sydney too.
A left-hander full of class and grace, David Gower was the mainstay of England’s batting for a major part of his 14-year-long international career, many would say his career ended too prematurely, but he’ll always be remembered as one of England’s greatest batters.
After leaving the game, Gower enjoyed a new career as a cricket broadcaster and television personality, including being one of the team captains on the popular BBC comedy sports quiz, They Think It’s All Over from 1995 to 2003. Gower was the main presenter of international cricket coverage for Sky Sports and a regular commentator for many years until 2019. He was hailed for his engaging commentating throughout the years.
He keeps his audience suitably entertained for two-and-a-half hours, even answering a selection of questions submitted during the interval. Many were flat-batted away but the willingness to engage in such a session displays a desire to absorb.
An interview with Gower
What was your most memorable cricket game to commentate on?
“I was part of the Channel 9 team that called the World Cup Final in Melbourne in 1992. England had been the best team in the tournament and should have beaten Pakistan but it wasn’t to be. Decisions went against them, Wasim Akram produced one of his killer spells late in the game and that was it. It was a proud moment for Imran Khan as he held the trophy aloft. Look where he is now!!”
What is the most memorable cricket game you’ve watched in your life?
“Another World Cup Final, 2019, the year that England finally managed to win after 44 years of trying! I was at Lord’s but in a hospitality box with friends rather than the commentary box. What a day it was, full of the greatest cricketing drama, an unprecedented WC Final Super Over and a win by the slimmest of margins. I thought New Zealand were very unlucky not to have won in the scheduled 50 over part of the match, and they conducted themselves with huge dignity in defeat, but equally Ben Stokes was brilliant in keeping England on course.”
Who was your favourite person to work with throughout your career?
“In commentary boxes the doyen was the great Richie Benaud, the man with the right words for every moment and who understood the power of both economical use of those words and even silence. I loved working alongside Tony Greig both for Channel 9 and Sky – he really understood how to sell the game to the audience. The best of my now ex colleagues at Sky is Michael Atherton, who both speaks and writes (for the Times) with great clarity of mind.”
What is your favourite hobby outside of cricket?
“I have an absolute passion for safaris (an echo of my childhood in Tanzania (Tanganyika as it was then) and am a proud supporter of several wildlife and conservation charities. Whenever I have had the chance I have visited game parks all over Africa and India with a camera poised. As far as sport nowadays, my game of choice is tennis. People ask if I play golf and I have to say both that I am the only person I know who does not play and that it should have been spelled differently at birth. “Flog” better describes my appalling performances on courses around the world until I took the sensible decision to forget the game entirely!”
If you could have a drink with any 3 people throughout time, who would you choose?
“I never know the answer to this question! So this time my fellow drinkers are going to be: David Attenborough, Terry Pratchett, Cate Blanchett.”
Who was your inspiration as a child?
“A given, my parents, who encouraged my every sporting move; the two cricket masters, one at Marlborough House (my prep school), Derek Whittome and then at King’s, Canterbury, Colin Fairservice. My first cricketing idols were Sir Garfield Sobers and Graeme Pollock, who I watched score a brilliant hundred for South Africa when my father took me to Trent Bridge for my first test match in 1965.”
Get A Video Message From Gowers With Thrillz
The man himself is available here on the site for personalised video messages from fans and anyone with any prying questions. He’s been described as a fountain of knowledge in the game of cricket so it would be interesting to learn something from a legendary player like him. It could be the perfect gift for any die hard cricket fans as a birthday surprise!