Michael Colin Cowdrey, Baron Cowdrey of Tonbridge, CBE (24 December 1932 – 4 December 2000), better known as Colin Cowdrey, was the Captain of Oxford University, Kent County Cricket Club and the England cricket team in a career that lasted from 1950 to 1976. He was the first cricketer to play in 100 Test matches and held the records for the most runs by a batsman and most catches by a fielder in Test cricket. His 22 Test centuries is an England record shared with Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook, Wally Hammond and Geoff Boycott and he toured Australia a record six times between 1954-55 and 1974-75. At Edgbaston in 1957 he added 411 against the West Indies with Peter May, the highest stand for England in Tests. Cowdrey's highest first class score was 307 against South Australia in 1962-63, a record for the MCC and for any tourist in Australia. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972, a Knight in 1992, a Life Peer by the cricket-loving Prime Minister John Major in 1997 and was posthumously inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on 24 June 2009. As a batsman he was noted for his classical technique and sweet timing of the ball, the Australian reporter Johnny Moyes writing
His cover-drive was still his chief glory, but other shots were scarcely inferior: the glory of the moon and stars as opposed to the rich glory of the sun. There seemed to be no effort about his work. With a short back-swing he persuaded the ball through the gaps, guiding it with an iron hand inside the velvet glove which disguised his power and purpose.