In 1969 Tony Lewis led Glamorgan to the County Championship title before three winters later becoming the first Glamorgan player to lead England in a Test match overseas.
Tony had been educated at Neath Grammar School, where he developed into an outstanding young sportsman. He spurned an opportunity to play the violin in the Welsh National Youth Orchestra to make his Glamorgan debut in 1955. Soon after, Tony went up to Cambridge to read History, besides representing the university at rugby and cricket, and leading the varsity eleven in 1962. Around this time, Tony also played rugby for Neath, Pontypool and Gloucester, until a knee injury forced him to concentrate on cricket.
After coming down in 1963, Tony became an elegant and dashing strokemaker in Glamorgan`s middle order. His most successful season was in 1966 when he became only the second Glamorgan batsman to reach 2,000 runs in a season. Tony ended the summer with 2,052 runs to his name, which included a career best 223 against Kent and four other centuries.
For many years Tony had been groomed by Wilf Wooller as a future leader, and in 1967 he took over the captaincy as Ossie Wheatley went into semi-retirement. It proved to be a wise choice of leader as Tony developed into a skillful and most capable leader, able to get the best out of the players at his disposal. His sound captaincy was recognized by the England selectors in 1972/73, following Ray Illingworth`s decision not to tour India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with Tony repaying their faith by steering the side to victory in the First Test at Delhi and later hitting 125 in the Fourth Test at Kanpur.
After retiring from playing in 1974, Tony became a highly regarded broadcaster on TV and radio as well as a distinguished writer. With a rich and mellifluous voice, Tony became a member of the BBC’s “Test Match Special” he regularly made shrewd analysis of proceedings out in the middle as would be expected from a man who successfully captained both the Welsh county and England. Indeed, his commentaries were always fuĺl of puckish wit and Welsh whimsy, and when moving to TV coverage a smile was never far away from his face.
Between 1988 and 1992 Tony served as Glamorgan`s Chairman, whilst from 1999 until 2004 he acted as President of the Club. From 1998 to 2000 Tony also served as President of the MCC whilst from 2006 until 2011 he chaired the MCC’s World Cricket Committee. He was awarded the CBE for services to cricket in the 2004 New Year’s Honours List.
LEWIS, Anthony Robert
Born – Uplands, Swansea, 6th July 1938.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 223 v Kent at Gravesend, 1966; 3/18 v Somerset at Neath, 1967.
In List A cricket – 96 v Hertfordshire Swansea, 1969.