JOHN EDRICH was probably the greatest and bravest batsmen ever to strap on a pair of pads for England.
Edrich, who has died aged 83, is considered one of solely 25 males in historical past to attain 100 first-class centuries with twelve coming in Take a look at cricket, seven of them in opposition to Australia.
In his early years, left-handed opener Edrich was a prodigious six-hitter and his 310 not out in opposition to New Zealand at Headingley in 1965 stays the worldwide innings with most boundaries – 52 fours and 5 sixes.
By the tip, Edrich morphed into an stubborn accumulator who stood as much as the world’s quickest bowlers earlier than the period of helmets.
He suffered many damaged bones however prospered as a result of he was brave and performed inside his limitations.
Dickie Chicken, the well-known umpire, described his apparently modest 34 in opposition to Australia on a moist, troublesome pitch at Edgbaston in 1975 as the best innings he ever noticed.
In 1976, on a brutal Saturday night at Previous Trafford, Edrich, then aged 39, and 45-year-old Brian Shut survived a savage, short-pitched battering for 80 minutes from a cluster of West Indies quick bowlers.
A spectator helped cut back the war-zone environment by trotting out with a 12-inch extensive joke bat for Edrich.
After play, as they in contrast bruises, Edrich burst into laughter. “What so humorous, Edie?” requested Shut. “I’ve simply appeared on the scoreboard for the primary time, Closey. And also you’re one not out.”
Neither man performed for England once more.
The earlier summer season, Edrich scored 175 in opposition to Australia at Lord’s within the match when a streaker referred to as Michael Angelow ran bare throughout the outfield and hurdled the stumps.
On the radio, commentator John Arlott referred to as him a “freaker” by mistake.
Edrich’s hundredth hundred arrived in 1977 whereas batting in opposition to Derbyshire, a few weeks earlier than Geoff Boycott reached the milestone within the extra glamorous setting of an Ashes Take a look at.
In 2000, Edrich was recognized with a uncommon type of leukaemia and given seven years to reside however he moved to Scotland and loved one other 20 years after injections of mistletoe extract cured the most cancers.
He was a fighter to the tip.
Edrich got here from a well-known cricketing household who often fielded an Edrich XI.
John’s cousin Invoice Edrich was one of many Middlesex twins who with Denis Compton introduced pleasure and hundreds of runs to Lord’s within the instant post-Warfare years.
Fairly a personality was Invoice. He was married 5 instances and one visitor, J.J.Warr, when requested on the church if he had an invitation, replied: “No, I’ve obtained a season ticket.”
John Edrich was my favorite cricketer rising up.
The similarity of our names was one motive and one other was that my first copy of Wisden – cricket’s annual ‘bible’ – was the 1960 version costing 6d (two-and-a-half pence) in a jumble sale. It reported the 1959 summer season when Edrich piled on the runs.
I obtained to know him fairly effectively throughout his time as England’s batting coach underneath supremo Ray Illingworth and my spouse, in considered one of her extra amorous moments, as soon as scribbled a fax and despatched it to our lodge in Kimberley, South Africa, on the 1995-96 tour.
My pet identify for her is ‘Inny,’ which appeared slightly like ‘Illy’ in her scrawl. The fax went to the unsuitable room and it’s honest to say Edrich was a contact confused receiving a chunk of paper on which was written: “My darling John, I really like you, I miss you and I need to kiss you. All my love, Inny (Illy).”
It took him two days to work it out earlier than, ultimately, he handed me the fax and stated: “I feel that is for you!”