MGS alumni named retrospective Wisden Schools Cricketers of the Year

Posted on: April 21st 2021School News

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We are absolutely delighted to announce three of MGS’s cricketing alumni are retrospective winners of the Wisden Schools Cricketers of the Year awards.

The new 158th edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack has named its best schools cricketers for every year from 1900 to 2019.

And three of our alumni - Michael Atherton OBE (MGS 79-86), Mark Crawley (MGS 79-86) and John Crawley (MGS 82-89) – have been announced as winners, all within five years.

Former England captain and now acclaimed journalist Mike Atherton was the winner for 1985, with Mark winning in 1986 and brother John winning in 1989.

Mark and John are the only pair of brothers on the list of winners.

Each year’s winner was chosen on the basis of their performance in schools cricket, as reported in Wisden. Wisden’s schools correspondent, Douglas Henderson, along with the editor, Lawrence Booth, and his editorial team, selected the winners for every year based solely on the schools average in the Almanack.

As well as scoring 1,000 runs in 1984, Michael Atherton also took 50 wickets in that season.

MGS has a rich pedigree when it comes to producing professional cricketers. In addition to Michael Atherton and Mark and John Crawley, off spinner Gary Yates (MGS 79-86) went on to play for both Lancashire CCC and was later Academy Director at Lancashire, while opening batsman Mark Chilton (MGS 88-95) captained Lancashire CCC and later returned to MGS as our Director of Cricket.

Mark and John’s other brother, Peter, is also an MGS alumnus, and played first-class cricket for Cambridge University.

Our current Director of Sport at MGS, Mike Watkinson, also played for, captained and coached Lancashire CCC and was capped four times for England at Test level, and once at ODI level.

Director of Development at MGS, Simon Jones, said: “We are immensely proud of our illustrious cricketing heritage at MGS, and I am delighted to see that three of our alumni have now been named as retrospective winners of the Wisden Schools Cricketers of the Year awards. 

“Many congratulations to Michael, Mark and John. I’m sure they have very fond memories of their time at MGS, hopefully in the classroom as well as on the cricket field!

“Our state-of-the-art Sports Hall, which is named in honour of Michael Atherton, is helping us to produce the next crop of talented youngsters, and one of our current pupils, George Bell, was recently called up to the England Under-19 training squad.

“Hopefully, in future years, we will see more MGS boys joining Michael, Mark and John on Wisden’s elite list.”