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Derek Underwood: England and Kent great dies aged 78



Derek Underwood: England and Kent great dies aged 78
Derek Underwood took 297 wickets at a median of 25.83 for England

Derek Underwood, one in every of England and Kent’s biggest ever bowlers, has died on the age of 78.

Sluggish left-armer Underwood took 297 wickets in 86 Assessments between 1966 and 1982, essentially the most by any England spinner.

He claimed 2,465 wickets in 676 first-class matches general, representing solely Kent, the county of his delivery, in a stellar 24-year home profession.

Underwood was appointed an MBE in 1981 and was president of the Marylebone Cricket Membership in 2009.

He additionally took 32 wickets in 26 one-day internationals and would have represented England extra however for becoming a member of World Sequence Cricket in 1977 and the insurgent tour of South Africa in 1981-82.

Nicknamed ‘Lethal’, Underwood was one in every of 55 inaugural members inducted into the Worldwide Cricket Council Corridor of Fame when it launched in 2009.

Kent Cricket chair Simon Philip stated the membership is “in mourning following the passing of one in every of its biggest ever gamers”.

He added: “Derek was an excellent contributor to each Kent and England, profitable trophies for membership and nation and etching his identify within the historical past books forevermore.”

Identified for his excessive degree of accuracy, Underwood would usually bowl a lot faster than most spinners however was additionally capable of deceive batters with variations of tempo and size.

He was notably difficult to face on uncovered pitches that had been affected by rain, his quicker tempo serving to to skid the ball on to batters shortly, whereas additionally capable of extract activate surfaces beginning to dry out.

“Watching Derek weave his distinctive magic on a moist wicket was a privilege for all who have been capable of witness it,” added Philip.

“His induction into the ICC Corridor of Fame exhibits the esteem wherein he was held in world cricket.

“An advocate for rising our sport worldwide while defending our sport’s wealthy heritage, Derek additionally made substantial contributions off the sector in addition to on it, and he will probably be sorely missed by everybody at Kent Cricket.”

Underwood is sixth on England’s Check wicket-takers checklist, having taken 42 extra scalps than the following spinner and seventh general, Graeme Swann.

Born in Bromley in 1945, Underwood made his Kent debut in 1963 aged simply 17 earlier than making his Check debut towards West Indies three years later.

He helped England to a well-known win over Australia within the fifth Check of the 1968 Ashes at The Oval, taking the final 4 wickets to fall in simply 27 balls throughout a frantic finale after the gang had helped dry the bottom following a rain delay.

Underwood fashioned a productive partnership for England and Kent with wicketkeeper Alan Knott. Each gamers joined Kerry Packer’s breakaway World Sequence Cricket in 1977, pausing their worldwide careers till after the competitors led to 1979.

Underwood’s England profession got here to an finish in 1982 when he joined a staff led by Graham Gooch in touring South Africa, defying the sporting boycott of the nation through the Apartheid.

He scored his first and solely first-class century towards Sussex in 1984 on the age of 39, having gone in to bat as a nightwatchman.

Underwood retired from cricket in 1987, having received three County Championships, two One-Day Cups, three Nationwide Leagues and three Benson & Hedges Cups for Kent.

England and Wales Cricket Board chair Richard Thompson stated: “It’s all the time a tragic day when an awesome of the English sport passes away.

“Derek Underwood will probably be remembered as one of many most interesting spin bowlers this nation has ever produced, and his outstanding file is testomony to his enduring talent.

“Our ideas are with Derek’s family and friends, everybody at Kent, and everybody who knew and cherished him.”

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