Player: England (2004-2012)
Andrew Strauss almost had the perfect Test debut at Lord's. When on the verge of recording a century in each innings he was famously run out by Nasser Hussain on 83, having posted 112 in the first innings against New Zealand back in 2004.
It was the start of one of the most successful England careers in recent times, as the South African born, privately educated, left-handed batsman went on to play 100 Test matches - scoring 21 hundreds at an average of 40.91 - and 127 One Day Internationals for England in a career that spanned eight years.
He led England to the top of the world rankings
A natural born leader, who was self-effacing by nature, Strauss rose up through the Middlesex ranks having spent his university days at Durham, where he was one of the first batch of players to benefit from the MCC Universities scheme.
With England, his tenure as captain was arguably far too short, as in 2006 - despite being admired by his team-mates and having led England to a series victory in Pakistan - he was overlooked by the selectors, who opted for a fit again Andrew Flintoff to lead the side for the 2006/7 tour of Australia. That winter, Flintoff led the team to a dismal 5-0 thrashing Down Under as England lost the Ashes that they had gained so memorably in the famous 2005 home series, a summer in which Strauss notched up two centuries.
His time as England captain finally came in 2009 when, following the fall-out between Peter Moores and Kevin Pietersen, Strauss formed a formidable alliance with new team director Andy Flower.
He led England to the top of the world rankings - including winning back-to-back Ashes series, including the first one in Australia in the winter of 2010/11 since Mike Gatting achieved the feat in 1986 - and finished with a respectable record of 24 victories from his 50 Tests as captain.
In February of 2013 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of MCC.