Cricket world mourns death of Norfolk-born John Edrich
- Credit: PA
Tributes have been paid to Norfolk-born cricketing legend John Edrich, who has died at the age of 83.
Mr Edrich, who was born in Blofield, near Norwich, was considered one of the finest batsmen of his generation and played for Norfolk, Surrey and was an England international.
Tom Harrison, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: "With John’s passing, we’ve lost a prolific and fearless batsman – one of the select few who have scored more than 5,000 runs for England.
“His duels with some of the world’s best fast bowlers were legendary, and it’s a testament to his ability that his 310 not out against New Zealand in 1965 remains the fifth highest Test score by an English batsman.
“He will be sadly missed, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Mr Edrich attended Bracondale School in Norwich and during his teens he played for Blofield Village and South Walsham.
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He came from a cricketing family and his four cousins, Eric, Bill, Geoff and Brian Edrich, all played first-class cricket.
He did two years of National Service in the army in 1956-57, before being drafted in to play for Surry in 1959, aged 21.
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A left-handed opener, he played 77 tests, scoring 5,138 runs at an average of 43.54. He was known as an even-tempered player with a strong sense of self-discipline, and he revealed no emotion if hit or beaten by a cricket ball.
Mr Edrich took part in the first one day international for England in 1971 against Australia. He scored 80 runs and won the man of the match award. He was appointed captain of the Surrey side in 1973, a post he held for four years.
He scored 103 first-class centuries and was awarded an MBE in 1977 in the Queen's Birthday honours.
Sir Ian Botham wrote on Twitter: "Very sad news today to wake up on Christmas Day and to be told that John Edrich has passed away !!
"A wonderful man who I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with...RIP"
Mr Edrich was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2000. After treatment, he said he had been cured of the cancer and was fit and active again by 2012. He died at his home in northern Scotland.
Surrey Cricket Club announced they would fly the flag over the Micky Stewart Members’ Pavilion at the Kia Oval at half mast over Christmas to mark his passing.
Richard Thompson, club chairman, said: “John Edrich was truly one of the greatest players to ever play for our club and his passing is an incredibly sad moment for us all.
“From watching his brave and charismatic batting to sitting alongside him in our committee room and learning about the game, to have been able to call John a friend was a high honour.
“On behalf of everyone at the club, I would like to offer our condolences to all of John’s friends, family and fans across the world - both inside and outside the game.”