A combative and wholehearted cricketer, Michael Slater (affectionately known as “Slats”) played many vital innings for New South Wales and as an Australian opener with his adventurous brand of strokeplay.
A product of Wagga Wagga, his was a meteoric rise. Following a stint at the Australian Cricket Academy, he made rapid strides, turning a place in the New South Wales Second XI at the start of the 1992-93 season into a berth in Australia's 1993 Ashes squad by the end of that summer. After notching a half-century in the opening match of that series - alongside fellow New South
Welshman, Mark Taylor - and complementing it with a brilliant century in the following encounter at Lord's, he soon became a regular in his nation's Test team.
Aside from the period between October 1996 and March 1998, Michael occupied a position at the top of the Australian Test batting line-up for close to a decade.
Amid a golden run of success for the team as a whole, individual highlights have included his 219 against Sri Lanka in Perth in 1995-96; and his brilliant home series against New Zealand in 1993-94 (which netted him 305 runs at 76.25) and England (623 runs at 62.30) in 1994-95. His signature trait of kissing his helmet whenever he reached three figures was seen 14 times, and he made scores in the nineties on a record-breaking nine occasions. He was also one of only four players to have played in each of the 16 matches between late 1999 and early 2001 which delivered the then Australian team the greatest run of consecutive victories in the history of Test cricket.