Here is our list of England's ten greatest captains. Andrew Strauss doesn’t make it just yet. If of course he leads England to retaining the Ashes in Australia next winter he will certainly join this list; and probably near the top too.
1. Douglas Jardine – P15 W9 D5 L1: ruthless, stubborn and a brilliant strategist. Thanks to “Bodyline” his name will live in infamy. We should also mention here that Jardine is our favourite cricketer ever so it was perhaps inevitable that he tops our list - also see Heroes: Douglas Jardine.
2. Raymond Illingworth – P31 W12, D14, L5: tough, also ruthless and uncompromising, and also like Jardine won the Ashes in Australia.
3. Mike Brearley – P31 W18 D9 L4: mediocre batsman but outstanding skipper who inspired Botham to his unforgettable heroic feats in the 1981 Ashes.
4. Michael Vaughan – P51 W26 D14 L11: took the foundations laid by Hussain and together with Fletcher created the all-conquering side of 2004/05.
5. Percy Chapman – P17 W9 D6 L2: like Jardine four years later he won the Ashes 4-1 in Australia; but unlike DRJ he earned the respect of the locals with his natural bonhomie.
6. Sir Len Hutton – P23 W11 D8 L4: England’s first professional captain for 65 years who regained the Ashes (after 20 years) in 1953 and then retained them in 1954/55.
7. Peter May – P41 W20 D11 L10: Other than Vaughan, he won the most Tests as skipper and led England to number one in the World
8. Nasser Hussain – P45 W17 D13 L15: took England from the bottom of the pile (behind even Zimbabwe) to series wins in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, providing the building blocks for Vaughan to take England into the stratosphere.
9. W.G. Grace – P13 W8 D2 L3: the giant (literally) of the Victorian age captained his country for the last time at the age of 51.
10. Hon. Ivo Bligh - P4 W2 D0 L2: presented with the original Ashes urn after winning the series 2-1 Down Under in 1882/83. For that alone he deserves to make the list.