Nigel Howard

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Nigel Howard
Personal information
Full nameNigel David Howard
Born(1925-05-18)18 May 1925
Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire, England
Died31 May 1979(1979-05-31) (aged 54)
Douglas, Isle of Man
Role Batsman
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  363)2 November 1951 v  India
Last Test14 January 1952 v  India
Domestic team information
1946–1953 Lancashire
1949–1954 Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)
Career statistics
Competition Tests FC
Runs scored866,152
Batting average 17.2024.70
Top score23145
Balls bowled90
Wickets 1
Bowling average 52.00
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling1/14
Catches/stumpings 4/–153/–
Source: CricketArchive, 21 December 2008

Nigel David Howard (18 May 1925 – 31 May 1979) [1] was an English cricketer, who played for Lancashire and England. Born in Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire, he captained England on the tour to India in 1951-52. In the only four Test matches he played in, England won one and drew three, although the series was tied after the Fifth Test was lost (Howard was ill and Donald Carr captained England in his absence). Howard was chosen to lead the side to the sub-continent largely because he was the best available amateur [1] (Len Hutton became the first professional England captain of the 20th century a few months later) and a successful leader of Lancashire (1949–53).


Youth and early career

Howard's younger brother Barry, also played for Lancashire, and their father Rupert was secretary of Lancashire County Cricket Club for several years. Howard went to Rossall School and played for Rossall Cricket Club. He showed early promise, leading his club's averages for the 1941 and 1942 seasons while still in his teens. As well as performing well at cricket, Howard was also a capable golfer and hockey player, representing Cheshire in both sports. [2]

He made his debut for Lancashire on 25 May 1946. Playing against Middlesex, Howard batted at number four and made scores of 4 and 3 as Lancashire won by seven wickets. [3] It was the only first-class match he played in the year. In the 1946 and 1947 seasons, he scored 131 runs in 7 matches at an average of 14.56. [4] He established himself as a regular player in the 1948 season, [2] in which he scored 944 runs in 23 matches at an average of 36.30. [4] This included his only century of the year; he made 145 against Derbyshire, the highest score of his career, [2] and was awarded his county cap in 1948. [5]


Howard was officially given the Lancashire captaincy in 1949 at the age of 23, becoming the youngest player to captain Lancashire. He guided the team to a share of the County Championship title in 1950; Lancashire did not win again until 2011. He remained Lancashire's captain until he retired from first-class cricket at the end of 1953. [2]

He led the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) most capably on, and equally importantly in view of the considerable diplomatic demands of those times, off the field, during the tour to India in 1951-52. He soldiered on despite developing pleurisy during the second half of the tour. At county level he was a stylish batsman and excellent fielder.


After his cricketing career ended, Howard entered the family textile business. [1] He retired in 1976 and moved to the Isle of Man where he died on 31 May 1979, aged 54. [2]

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  1. 1 2 3 Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p.  92. ISBN   1-869833-21-X.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 England / Players / Nigel Howard (Nigel Howard Wisden obituary), Retrieved on 21 December 2008.
  3. f16861: Lancashire v Middlesex County Championship 1946, Retrieved on 21 December 2008.
  4. 1 2 First-class batting and fielding in each season by Nigel Howard, Retrieved on 21 December 2008.
  5. Nigel Howard, Retrieved on 21 December 2008.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Freddie Brown
English national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Len Hutton