Ed Smith

Ed Smith

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Writer & Former Cricketer

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During his professional cricketing career Ed scored six centuries in a single month, including an innings of 203. He went on to captain Middlesex and represent England, until injury ended his career. He’s since been a Times feature writer and author of books about the lessons we can draw from sport, from leadership and teamwork to mental health and attitude - as well as the importance of luck. In speeches Ed explains why pep talks can sometimes be counter-productive, why amateurism is good (if it means having fun) and why luck should be recognised for what it is.


Ed Smith is a writer, academic, and former cricketer. He served as the chief selector for the England cricket team, was a Times leader writer, and is the author of four books that take a look at the sociology of sport and what it reflects about life, teamwork and leadership. He was a key part of BBC radio’s Test Match Special team before returning to international cricket as England’s National Selector where he enacted a range of new policies and programmes around talent development.

Starting his cricketing career playing for his home county of Kent, Ed went on to captain Middlesex and represent England, becoming a popular and highly respected figure. When an ankle injury forced his retirement Ed turned to writing. While living for a year in New York he wrote
Playing Hard Ball, comparing cricket and baseball and their relationship with national myth and identity. He followed this with On and Off the Field and What Sport Tells Us About Life - an exploration of the role of sport, its psychological and cultural effects and the moral lessons it teaches us. He then published Luck: A Fresh Look At Fortune, an examination of what is often assumed to be down to good or bad fortune, and the role in does and does not play in achievement. As a Times leader writer, Ed also covered everything from education to ‘Renaissance Man’.

Ed speaks about promoting change by winning over the waverers, rather than wasting too much time on intransigent opponents. He encourages an inquisitive attitude, to ensure continual improvement, and looks at what sport really does tell us about teamwork, leadership, mindset and mental health, and achievement.

Ed has written the weekly MindGames column in the Daily Telegraph, was a contributing writer for the New Statesman and has written for The Economist’s 1843 magazine. He has also presented a series on Peak Performance for Radio 3 and an episode for the BBC’s Inside Sport. He is also the co-founder of the Institute of Sports Humanities at the University of Buckingham, combining academia with sport to equip the next generation of leaders.

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JLA Speakers Breakfast - May 2011


Book written by Ed Smith
Book written by Ed Smith