Colin Cowdrey was appointed England Captain in 1959 for a test match against the country of his birth, and became captain on a regular basis during the 1960s. In 1963, facing the West Indies, he came in to bat with a broken wrist in plaster. Had he not batted, England would have lost. His appearance caused the match to be drawn. He played his final test against Australia in 1947. At that time Cowdrey held the world record for runs scored in a test career (7624)
Following his retirement in 1976, Colin Cowdrey worked closely behind the scenes at Kent, became chairman of the MCC in 1989 and was later chairman of the International Cricket Council.
Colin Cowdrey was awarded a knighthood in 1992 and became Lord Cowdrey of Tonbridge in 1997. While many cricketers have been awarded a knighthood, Cowdrey was the only one to be given a life peerage solely for services to cricket.
He died in his sleep in 2000, aged 67, having suffered a stroke earlier that year.