• December 6, 2023

My dad was a top England cricketer – but now I’m making my own way in the sport


EX-ENGLAND captain Michael Atherton is one of the most celebrated cricketers on and off the pitch.

Atherton skippered his country by the age of 25 and led them to a record 54 Test matches.

Josh de Caires is the son of ex-England captain Michael Atherton


Josh de Caires is the son of ex-England captain Michael AthertonCredit: Rex
Michael Atherton has turned to punditry in cricket retirement


Michael Atherton has turned to punditry in cricket retirementCredit: PA

And after retiring, Atherton turned his hand to punditry and works as a commentator with Sky Sports and cricket correspondent.

But the OBE is not the only talented player in his family.

As son Josh de Caires has emerged as a promising young batsman for Middlesex.

De Caires – who achieved a first in economics at Leeds University – is becoming a rapidly improved bowler.

He told The Telegraph: “I never imagined this.

“I backed myself and I knew I had some skills with the ball, but didn’t think I’d get anywhere near a seven-for or an eight-for this year.

“One of my mates texted me saying, ‘Imagine the odds you’d have got a couple of years ago on getting a 10-fer before a first-class hundred’.

“It would have been ludicrously long.”


De Caires admits he was not much of a bowler growing up.

But he improved when Ian Salisbury – a former team-mate of his dad’s – joined Middlesex’s coaching staff this season.

De Caires said: “I have always enjoyed the challenge, bowling at good batters in a game is a bit like a puzzle.

“It’s enjoyable to try to work someone out like that. It’s funny, I felt that my batting had really improved at the start of the year.

“It still has, but probably when you are batting 8-9 it’s hard to show that off.

“Hopefully in the next year or so I can keep my place with my bowling, but I want to perform with the bat, too, and become a genuine all-rounder.”

De Caires is at peace with being the son of a legend but wants to earn a name in his own right.

He said: “He’s very good at keeping his space.

“I am not sure I will ever outgrow the tag, but it’s not something I’m too concerned or fussed about.

“It’s something I’m obviously immensely proud of my dad for, but I’m happy just getting on with my game.”

Atherton and son De Caires pictured in 2010


Atherton and son De Caires pictured in 2010Credit: Getty


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