Cowdrey Lecture

21st MCC Cowdrey Lecture: Sir Andrew Strauss

Former England and Middlesex Captain, Sir Andrew Strauss, delivered the 21stMCC Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday 1 February 2023 at 18.30 GMT, available to watch back online.

Strauss was the 21st Cowdrey Lecture speaker and followed Stephen Fry, who delivered the oration in November 2021 and became MCC President on 1 October 2022.

Strauss played for England on 231 occasions across all three international formats of the game, in a career for his country that spanned nine years between 2003 and 2012. An attractive left-handed batter, he made over 7,000 Test runs and more than 4,000 One-Day International runs. It was under his captaincy in Test cricket, which began in 2009 and ended upon his retirement in 2012, that England reached number one in the ICC Test Rankings for the first time.

Three years after he retired from cricket, Strauss was appointed as ECB’s Director of England Cricket, a post he held until his resignation in 2018. Strauss returned to the ECB in 2019 and is currently Chair of the Performance Cricket Committee.

The MCC Cowdrey Lecture, in memory of Lord Cowdrey of Tonbridge, has become an annual highlight in the cricketing calendar, provoking debate and discussion of the major issues facing the game today.

Strauss was joined by England world cup winning stars, Tammy Beaumont and Jonny Bairstow for the post-lecture discussion hosted by Angus Fraser.


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.

The last lecture with delivered by current MCC President, Stephen Fry.

Previous Speakers

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
2021 Stephen Fry England
2022 Sir Andrew Strauss 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 Jonny Bairstow.