Ed Smith

Ed Smith

Times Columnist & Former England Cricketer


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 become a Times feature writer and author of books about the lessons we can draw from sport - and 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.


After his talent with a cricket bat was spotted at Cambridge, Ed signed for his home county. In just one month with Kent he scored six centuries - including an innings of 203. He went on to captain Middlesex and represent England, becoming a popular and highly respected figure.

When an ankle injury forced his retirement from the first class game Ed replaced bat with pen, following in the footsteps of his novelist father Jonathan. 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.

Ed wrote the weekly MindGames column in the Daily Telegraph, and is now a features writer on The Times covering anything from education to ‘Renaissance Man.’ He has also presented a series on Peak Performance for Radio 3 and an episode for the BBC’s Inside Sport.

Ed talks about promoting change by winning over the waverers, rather than wasting too much time on intransigent opponents. He also encourages an inquisitive attitude, to ensure continual improvement. “Good teams have to stay light on their feet, always adapting. You can’t afford a mindset of ‘we’ve got this dead right, all we have to do is repeat what we’re doing forever.’”

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JLA Speakers Breakfast - May 2011