Gower became vice-captain of England in 1982 and, at the age of 25, led his country for the first time that season in the Lord’s Test against Pakistan, when Willis, the officially appointed captain for the series, was injured. On the 1982/3 tour of Australia, he was England’s outstanding player. He scored 441 runs in the five Tests with 114 at Adelaide and three fifties.
Runs continued to flow off his bat against New Zealand in 1983, including two more centuries. When Bob Willis was forced to return home from Pakistan, Gower once more took on the England captaincy. He had a difficult task - the side had just lost the series in New Zealand and the first Test against Pakistan, but the new captain responded heroically, scoring 152 at Faisalabad and 173 not out at Lahore, almost retrieving the series.
The selectors appointed him captain for the 1984 series against the West Indies but Gower had a disappointing series with the bat and England were thrashed 5-0. His team recovered in India in 1984/5 and Gower made a timely return to form in the last Test with a defiant 78 to ensure England’s series win. In 1985, Gower made 732 runs in the Tests, a new record total for a home series against Australia and the highest aggregate ever scored by an England captain. His three Test centuries were highlights of the series as England regained The Ashes.
Gower lost the England captaincy in 1986 when he also resigned as captain of Leicestershire.
Test debut: 1978
One-Day Internationals: 114
1st-Class 50s scored: 123
1st-Class 100s scored 48
1st-Class 200s scored: 2
1st-class catches: 255
Since ending his playing days, David has become a media star through his work for the BBC and, latterly, with Sky Sports. His enduring popularity has been underpinned by his frequent appearances on ‘They Think It’s All Over’ the popular BBC panel game.