Mike Brearley was one of England's greatest cricket captains. He thrice won the Ashes, including the unforgettable series of 1981, when his leadership helped England to snatch victory from defeat. Yet there was nothing inevitable about his rise. A spell out of the game in his mid-20s stymied his progress and when he returned full-time to captain Middlesex, his innovative approach found little favour with the old guard. In this first-ever biography of Brearley, award-winning cricket writer Mark Peel reveals how Brearley overcame his critics to lead Middlesex to four county championships and two Gillette Cup wins. His rise to the England captaincy was fast, but his unrivalled leadership skills contrasted with his repeated failures with the bat. Away from cricket, Brearley possessed a range of cultural interests along with a sharp intellect, which saw him achieve eminence as a psychoanalyst. Drawing on interviews with friends and team-mates, Peel assesses the many facets of this complex man to explain his phenomenal success as a leader.