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Underwood also served as President of MCC

Underwood also served as President of MCC © Getty

England and Kent spin legend Derek Underwood has died at the age of 78.

Underwood made 86 Test appearances for his country after making his debut against the West Indies at Trent Bridge in July 1966, claiming 297 wickets at an average of 25.83. He is still England’s sixth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket and the leading spinner on that list.

Underwood represented Kent his entire first-class career, making over 900 appearances for the club since his debut at 17. He claimed 2523 wickets at an average of just over 19 from 1963-1987, and was the youngest to the 100 mark in the initial season. He captured his 1000th first-class wicket aged just 25, and took 100 wickets in a season 10 times, notably 157 in 1966. He was the leading bowler in England on four occasions: 1966, 1967, 1978 and 1979.

According to the retrospective ICC Men’s Test Bowler rankings, Derek Underwood was ranked No. 1 in the world from September 1969 to August 1973.

In ODI cricket, Underwood earned 26 caps for England between 1973 and 1982, including a pair of appearances in the inaugural 1975 World Cup. He has 32 wickets at 22.93 to his name in the 50-overs format.

Underwood was awarded an MBE for services to cricket in the New Year’s Honours list of 1981. He retired from the game in 1987, having won three County Championships, two One-Day Cups, three National Leagues and three Benson & Hedges Cups as a Kent cricketer. He was named President of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 2008, after serving as Kent Cricket’s Club President in 2006, and was inducted into the ICC’s Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.

Kent Cricket’s Chair, Simon Philip, said: “The Kent Cricket family is in mourning following the passing of one of its greatest ever players.

“Derek was an outstanding contributor to both Kent and England, winning trophies for Club and country and etching his name in the history books forevermore.

“Watching Derek weave his unique magic on a wet wicket was a privilege for all who were able to witness it. His induction into the ICC Hall of Fame shows the esteem in which he was held in world cricket.

“An advocate for growing our game worldwide whilst protecting our sport’s rich heritage, Derek also made substantial contributions off the field as well as on it, and he will be sorely missed by everyone at Kent Cricket.”

© Cricbuzz



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