Alec Stewart
Personal information
Full nameAlec James Stewart
Born (1963-04-08) 8 April 1963 (age 58)
Merton Park, England
NicknameThe Gaffer
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
BowlingRight-arm medium
RoleBatsman, Wicket-keeper
RelationsMicky Stewart (father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 543)24 February 1990 v West Indies
Last Test8 September 2003 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 104)15 October 1989 v Sri Lanka
Last ODI2 March 2003 v Australia
ODI shirt no.4
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 133 170 447 504
Runs scored 8,463 4,677 26,165 14,771
Batting average 39.54 31.60 40.06 35.08
100s/50s 15/45 4/28 48/148 19/94
Top score 190 116 271* 167*
Balls bowled 20 0 502 4
Wickets 0 3 0
Bowling average 148.66
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 1/7
Catches/stumpings 263/14 159/15 721/32 442/48
Source: Cricinfo, 14 October 2007

Alec James Stewart OBE (born 8 April 1963) is an English former cricketer, and former captain of the England cricket team, who played Test cricket and One Day Internationals as a right-handed wicket-keeper-batsman. He is the fourth-most-capped English cricketer ever in Test matches[1] and third-most-capped in One Day Internationals (ODIs), having played in 133 Tests and 170 ODIs. An attacking batsman in tests against the new ball, Stewart is regarded as one of England's greatest openers. Legendary Pakistani fast bowler Wasim Akram considers him one of the most difficult batsmen he ever bowled to.

Domestic career

The younger son of former English Test cricketer Micky Stewart, Stewart was educated at Coombe Hill Infants' School, Coombe Hill Junior School and Tiffin School in Kingston upon Thames.[2] He made his debut for Surrey in 1981, earning a reputation as an aggressive opening batsman and occasional wicketkeeper.

Stewart is a well-known supporter of Surrey County Cricket Club and Chelsea F.C. When shirt numbers were introduced for One Day International cricket, Stewart chose the number 4 shirt in honour of his favourite Chelsea player when growing up, John Hollins, and kept that shirt number throughout his career.[3]

International career

Stewart made his England debut in the first Test of the 1989/90 tour of the West Indies, along with Nasser Hussain, who would eventually replace him as England captain.

At the start of his career, Stewart was a specialist opening batsman for England, with wicketkeeping duties being retained by Jack Russell, who was generally recognised as the superior gloveman and who batted down the order. However, Russell, the inferior batsman, would often be dropped to improve the balance of the side (i.e. to accommodate an extra bowler or batsman), in which case Stewart would don the gloves. After enduring years of selection and deselection, Russell retired from international cricket in 1998, leaving Stewart unrivalled as England's keeper-batsman until his own retirement in 2003.

Alec Stewart's career performance graph.
Alec Stewart's career performance graph.


His highest Test score, 190, was against Pakistan in the drawn first Edgbaston Test on 4 June 1992; it was his fourth century in five Tests. In 1994 at the Kensington Oval he became only the seventh Englishman to score centuries in both innings of a Test match, scoring 118 and 143 as the West Indies were beaten at their Bridgetown "fortress" for the first time since 1935.[4]

Stewart's batting average (39.54) is the lowest of any player to have scored 8000 or more runs in Test cricket: he is the only player to have scored over 8000 runs despite an average of under 40.[5] However, when played as a specialist batsman in Test cricket, Stewart averaged 46.90 in 51 games with 9 centuries. Since World War II, only Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott, Dennis Amiss and Alastair Cook have bettered Stewart's average of 46 as a specialist opening batsman for England.[6] As wicketkeeper-batsman he averaged 34.92 from 82 tests, higher than many of his contemporaries and many of the current batch of international wicketkeepers. He was unlucky enough to be on the losing side in a record 54 Test Matches.

Stewart holds the record for scoring most test runs without a career double century in test history (8463)[7]


Stewart was groomed for the England captaincy under Graham Gooch, deputising for him in four tests in India and Sri Lanka in 1993, but when Gooch retired from the captaincy later that year Mike Atherton was chosen to succeed him. Stewart was asked to captain England in 1998 when Mike Atherton resigned. Despite being the age of 35 at the time, Stewart's level of fitness was impeccable, especially bearing in mind that most players do not continue beyond 37. As it was Stewart went on to play for England beyond his 40th birthday – but as events were to transpire – his captaincy of England barely lasted 12 months.

In his first series as captain, against South Africa, Stewart scored an outstanding 164 in the third Test at Old Trafford to salvage a draw, a result which eventually enabled England to overturn a 1–0 deficit to win the series 2–1. Nonetheless, failures against Australia and in the 1999 Cricket World Cup saw him sacked from the captaincy to be replaced by Hussain. During his captaincy, he had the unusual distinction of simultaneously captaining the side, opening the batting and keeping wicket. He continued to deputise occasionally as captain of England's one-day side, and became the second international captain to concede a match in 2001, after a pitch invasion during a One Day International against Pakistan rendered the continuation of play impossible.[8] He continued as an England player for five more seasons, and became only the fourth player to score a century in his 100th Test, scoring 105 against the West Indies at Old Trafford in 2000.

Stewart also set a record for playing the most number of ODI matches(28) as a captain who has kept wicket and opened the batting.[9]

After cricket

In 2004, Stewart became a founding director of Arundel Promotions with specific responsibility for player management and representation. Cricket playing clients include Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Ashley Giles and Matt Prior.[10]

In 2009, Stewart rejoined Surrey as a part-time consultant to the coaching staff specialising in batting, wicket keeping and mentoring.[11]

Since retiring from playing Stewart has taken on the role as the Club Ambassador for Surrey County Cricket Club and was made an executive director in 2011.

On 17 June 2013, it was announced by Surrey County Cricket Club that Stewart would take charge of first team affairs following the sacking of Chris Adams, until a long term successor was found. In October 2013 the club announced that Graham Ford would become head coach in February 2014, with Stewart becoming Director of Cricket, a new position.[12]

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 2003 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel while playing golf at the Royal Automobile Club in Epsom.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Records/England/Test Matches/Most Matches, Retrieved on 3 September 2011
  2. ^ "Alec was aggressive – He'd even sledge the teachers Says the England captain's Games Master!"[dead link], Sunday Mirror, Steve Whiting, 24 May 1998
  3. ^ Profile at Arundel Promotions Archived 26 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Wisden: West Indies v England, 1993–94
  5. ^ Cricinfo statsguru: batsmen who scored 8000 Test runs or more
  6. ^ Cricinfo statsguru: openers by batting average since 1945
  7. ^ "HowSTAT! Test Cricket – Most Career Runs without a Double Century". Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  8. ^ Stewart concedes defeat after another pitch invasion
  9. ^ "Records | One-Day Internationals | Individual records (captains, players, umpires) | Captains who have kept wicket and opened the batting | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Graham Ford Appointed Head Coach" Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 18 October 2013
Sporting positions Preceded byGraham GoochMike Atherton English national cricket captain (deputised 1993)1998–1999 Succeeded byGraham GoochNasser Hussain Preceded byIan Greig Surrey captain 1992–1997 Succeeded byAdam Hollioake