Derek Underwood passes away: England's most successful spin bowler dead at 78 | Crickit
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Derek Underwood passes away: England's most successful spin bowler dead at 78

By, New Delhi
Apr 15, 2024 07:52 PM IST

Derek Underwood remained the world's number-one bowler for nearly four years between 1969 and 1973.

Derek Underwood, England and Kent's legendary spinner, has passed away on Monday. The slow left-arm orthodox spinner was known for his pin-point accuracy during his playing career. Regarded as England's best spinner in the post-World War II era, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar hailed Underwood as one of the toughest bowlers the Indian batting legend ever faced. Underwood bagged 297 wickets in 86 Test matches between 1966 and 1982. The spin-bowling icon dedicated his entire first-class career to Kent.

Derek Underwood is shown in this Oct. 4, 1966 photo. England cricket great Derek Underwood has died at age 78.(AP)
Derek Underwood is shown in this Oct. 4, 1966 photo. England cricket great Derek Underwood has died at age 78.(AP)

Underwood sealed England's famous win over arch-rivals Australia at The Oval back in 1968. The legendary England spinner picked up match-winning figures of 7-50 against the Ashes rivals at the time. Underwood was 21 when he made his Test debut in 1966. He played his final Test for the Three Lions in 1982. Nicknamed Deadly, the former England cricketer is 42 wickets ahead of Graeme Swann on the list of the highest-wicket takers. Former England spinner Swann is the second-highest wicket-taker for the European giants with 255 wickets in 60 Tests. He is followed by Moeen Ali, who has 203 wickets in 68 Tests.

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As per the retrospective ICC rankings, Underwood remained the world's number-one bowler for nearly four years between 1969 and 1973. Born in Kent, Underwood spent 24 years with his local club before retiring in 1987. "Watching Derek weave his unique magic on a wet wicket was a privilege for all who were able to witness it," Simon Philip, who is the chair of Kent Cricket, said in a statement. "His induction into the ICC Hall of Fame shows the esteem in which he was held in world cricket," he added. Underwood served as the president of Kent Cricket and the Marylebone Cricket Club after his retirement.

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