Mike Atherton was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Cambridge University. He was made captain of the England cricket team in 1993 at the age of 25. He was one of the most determined batsmen of the nineties, and as an opener, a vital component of the England team. Atherton played professional cricket for Lancashire and England for 15 years, despite a serious back complaint. He represented England in 115 Test matches and captained his country on a record 54 occasions.