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Ten questions with...Alan Smith CBE (1955)


The only Old Edwardian to play cricket for England, Alan Smith was an Oxford cricket Blue (1958-1960) and Captain (1959-1960).  He was a first class cricketer for Warwickshire, becoming county captain (1968-1974).  He was a MCC tourist in Australia and New Zealand (1962-63) where he played in 6 Tests.  Later he was Secretary of Warwickshire CCC (1976-1986) and Chief Executive of the TCCB.

1. What is your favourite memory from your time at King Edward's?  Playing cricket.

2. Who was your most influential teacher? Bernard Guy - master i/c cricket and later Ronald Lunt who brought me to my senses.

3. Did you ever get up to any mischief at King Edward's? Yes - was pretty uncooperative in class and certainly idle.

4. What were your career aspirations when you were at school?  Nil.

5. How did you achieve such a successful career?  By good fortune - being in the right place at the right time. Brasenose College Oxford allowed me to play cricket (and football) and do little academic work (though I do have a degree). Playing cricket for England is always a help and my long county career was reasonably successful. While still playing full time I became a director of an advertising agency and also a director of Aston Villa Football Club plc.  After retiring from playing I soon became Secretary (now C.E.O.) of Warwickshire C.C.C. for ten years and then for another ten years was C.E.O. of what is now known as the English Cricket Board.

6. What is the highlight of your career to date?  Leaving aside playing achievements, keeping the business of English cricket growing and profitable - but above all nurturing Test Match cricket, the ultimate form of the game.

7. What achievement in your life are you proudest of?  I was proud to be made C.B.E. in 1995 - someone must have thought I'd done reasonably well. More important than that honour - I've had a wonderful family life.

8. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?  Throughout your life make sure you learn something new every day, and never be afraid to go for it.

9. What advice would you give to the boys at King Edward's today?  Same as question 8.

10. If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?  Winston Churchill, though he'd probably drink me under the table! And W.G. Grace, though I think he may not have been especially cheery company.