Legendary England Spinner Derek Underwood Dies Aged 78


One of England’s most celebrated cricketers, Derek Underwood, passed away at the age of 78. Known as “Deadly” for his remarkable cricketing skills, Underwood was the sixth-highest wicket-taker for England in Test cricket, having taken 297 dismissals in 86 appearances, along with 32 in one-day internationals.

Underwood’s cricketing journey began at Farnborough Cricket Club, where his father and brother were his mentors. He made his first-class debut for Kent at the age of 17 and went on to become England’s most successful spin bowler, with a unique ability to exploit damp surfaces, making him a master of uncovered pitches.

Despite his success, his career was not without its controversies, including his decision to join World Series Cricket and a rebel tour to South Africa, which ended his international career. He took 297 wickets in 86 Tests for England, and a total of 2,465 first-class wickets in 676 matches.

Beyond cricket, Underwood was appointed an MBE in 1981 for his services to cricket and later served as President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

His passing has been met with tributes from the cricketing world, and his legacy as one of England’s greatest spin bowlers and a revered figure in the sport will undoubtedly continue to inspire generations of players and fans alike.

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