Cowdrey Lecture

MCC hosts the Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s Cricket Ground annually.

The event is named after Lord Colin Cowdrey, the former England captain who is credited with initiating the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ – an outline for fair play that was later officially added as a preamble to the Laws of Cricket.

Lord Cowdrey passed away in December 2000 and in his memory, the Cowdrey Lecture was born. The first lecture took place in 2001 and was delivered by the former Australian captain Richie Benaud.

The speakers have customarily been distinguished former cricketers or cricketing personalities, other than when Desmond Tutu delivered the Lecture in 2008. Kumar Sangakkara, in 2011, is the only player who was still active in their playing career at the time of giving the Lecture.

Kumar Sangakkara Cowdrey Lecture

The 2020 lecture was cancelled due to Covid-19, meaning the 2021 lecture will be the twentieth to be held.

The full list of previous speakers are as follows:

2001 Richie Benaud                        Australia             
2002 Barry Richards                       South Africa                          
2003 Sunil Gavaskar                      India         
2004 Clive Lloyd                             West Indies        
2005 Geoffrey Boycott                    England              
2006 Martin Crowe                         New Zealand                
2007 Christopher Martin-Jenkins     England              
2008 Desmond Tutu                       South Africa        
2009 Adam Gilchrist                       Australia                      
2010 Imran Khan                           Pakistan                      
2011 Kumar Sangakkara                Sri Lanka   
2012 Tony Greig                             England                       
2013 Simon Taufel                         Australia                      
2014 Sir Ian Botham                      England              
2015 Rod Marsh                             Australia                      
2016 Brendon McCullum                 New Zealand                         
2017 Brian Lara                              West Indies                 
2018 Dave Richardson                    South Africa                 
2019 Mike Brearley                         England

The lecture has also typically been followed by a panel discussion, which has seen several other influential cricketing personalities discussing significant topics from the game. In recent years, the panel has included personalities such as Shane Warne, Michael Holding, Eoin Morgan, Anya Shrubsole, Sir Alastair Cook, Mahela Jayawardene and Sanjay Manjrekar.