Michael Colin Cowdrey, whose cricketing father deliberately gave him the initials M.C.C., was born in India. He came to Brasenose in 1951 from Tonbridge School, where his cricketing skills had led to his playing for Kent at the age of eighteen. At Oxford he was Captain of both the University Rackets and Cricket Clubs.
He was selected to play for England whilst still an undergraduate, and was capped 114 times. He Captained England 27 times and played in his last Test in 1975. He retired from first class cricket the following year, having played for Kent throughout his career, most of it as Captain. He was knighted in 1992 and entered the House of Lords as Lord Cowdrey of Tonbridge in 1997.