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The Cowdrey Lecture, also referred to as the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, is an annual event organised by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at the Lord's Cricket Ground.

The event was first hosted in 2001, following the death of its eponym Late Lord Colin Cowdrey, in December 2000. Colin Cowdrey is reported to have been instrumental in adapting the Captains' Charter as the Spirit of Cricket and subsequently adding it as the preamble to the Laws of Cricket.[1]

It is held annually during the English summer and is delivered by pre-eminent cricketing personalities. The event is an invite only affair, with high-profile cricketing personalities, représentatives of cricketing boards and journalists in attendance. The format of the event is simple: the cowdrey lecture followed by an informal discussion/question-answer session with a panel of distinguished personalities.[1]

List of all lectures till dateEdit

Cowdrey Lecturers, chronlogically since inception.
Year Lecturer Country of Lecturer Flag Key Message Panel
2001 Richie Benaud Australia   No known recording. Manuscript available on the Lord's official website.
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*[2] South Africa   Racism and sports, apartheid, impact of sports on politics, Spirit of Cricket
2009 Adam Gilchrist Australia  
2010 Imran Khan Pakistan  
2011 Kumar Sangakkara*[3] Sri Lanka   The history of Sri Lankan cricket, Spirit of Cricket, socio-cultural impact of cricket. Mark Nicholas, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Holding, Andrew Strauss
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   Spirit of Cricket, Code of conduct, ball tampering incident of Newlands, Women's Cricket, Player penalties and punishments. Mark Nicholas, Dave Richardson, Sanjay Manjrekar, Jason Roy
2019 Mike Brearley England   Spirit of Cricket, the Mankad dismissal, what makes a good captain, the Cricket World Cup 2019 Mark Nicholas, Shane Warne, Mike Brearley, Kumar Sangakkara

* - Denotes Lecturers who received standing ovations from the audience.

Notable factsEdit

  • The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu is the only non cricketing personality to have ever delivered a Cowdrey lecture.[2]
  • The two men above are also the only ones to have received a standing ovation for their speech.[3][2]

Lecturers by countryEdit

Flag Country Number of lecturers
  Australia 4
  England 4
  South Africa 3
  West Indies 2
  New Zealand 2
  India 1
  Pakistan 1
  Sri Lanka 1

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture". Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  2. ^ a b c "Archbishop Desmond Tutu gets standing ovation after cricket lecture". Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  3. ^ a b "SANGAKKARA AND THE SPIRIT OF CRICKET". Retrieved 2018-08-08.