Our excellent Host for the evening was the dry witted Geoff Miller OBE. For his considerable sins, Geoff Miller was appointed Chairman of Selectors for English cricket, a position he held for five eventful years. As a player he scored an impressive 14,000 runs and took over 1,000 first class wickets. He captained Derbyshire, played for Essex and vice-captained the national side. He even spent a brief period with Natal in South Africa.
Off the field, Geoff's greatest attribute was his ability to reduce his team-mates to stitches with his dry northern humour and unwillingness to take things too seriously. As Chair of Selectors he oversaw an England team that achieved great things, as well as inspiring the more customary disappointment. He is now one of the funniest speakers on the circuit, with a stream of hilarious anecdotes. There are wild nights in the West Indies, practical jokes in the dressing room, tales of misadventure in Australia and rivalries nearer home.
Geoff also enjoys taking part in TMS theatre shows, with Graham Gooch and Mike Gatting. Whilst noted as a joker on and off the field of play, Geoff was widely respected as a professional player always quick to congratulate opponents and embrace the spirit of the game. As a selector, he was a favourite with both players and the media and was in charge at a time that saw England become the top ranked test nation in the world, win and retain the Ashes, but also slump to a 5-0 whitewash in Australia.
What distinguishes Geoff from most sporting after dinner speakers is his ability to reach audiences without an ounce of interest in sport. His timing and self-deprecating turn of phrase mark him out as a classic raconteur.