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  Monday, 31 December, 2001, 00:17 GMT
Tony Lewis: A lifetime in cricket
Tony Lewis
Lewis was president of MCC through a successful two years
Tony Lewis has received a CBE for his lifelong service to cricket as a player, administrator and broadcaster at the highest level.

The first Glamorgan player to captain England in a Test match, Lewis joined an elite group of players to lead his side to victory in his Test debut.

He took the reins of the national side on a tour of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1972-73, after incumbent skipper Raymond Illingworth and senior batsman Mike Smith both announced they would not be going on the trip.

"You can't get higher than captaining England in an overseas series," Lewis said. "It's the pinnacle of playing."

Lewis made his mark as a captain when he led Glamorgan to their first ever County Championship title, guiding them through an unbeaten season in 1969.

"In the days when County Championship cricket was like football's Premier League, that was a massive peak," said Lewis.

A double Blue at Cambridge, he went on to play club rugby for Neath, Pontypool and Gloucester, before a knee injury forced him to concentrate on his cricket career.

With his knee still troubling him, he retired early from the game in 1974, but went on to become a highly respected journalist and broadcaster.

As well as being a member of the Test Match Special commentary team, he was the anchorman for BBC television`s coverage of Test and domestic cricket.

In 1998 he became president of the MCC, the body that is renowned as the guardian of the game, overseeing Lord's hosting of the 1999 World Cup final.

His reign has marked some of the biggest changes in the famous club's history.

Lewis was in charge for the building of the new Lord's media centre, whose innovative spaceship-like design has won many architectural awards.

But perhaps his biggest achievement was persuading traditionally conservative MCC members to finally admit women into the club more than 200 years after it was first founded.

As a leading figure in Welsh sport he played a major part in securing golf's 2010 Ryder Cup for the Celtic Manor course in Newport.

"I'm glad that I've managed to turn some of the noteriety that I've had to Wales' welfare," Lewis said.

"There are only 25 Ryder Cups per century in Britain and to get one for Wales is ending on a high for me."

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29 Nov 01 | Test Match Special
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