England great John Edrich has died at the age of 83; the former Surrey batsman is one of only 25 men to score 100 first-class centuries, including 12 for England in a 13-year international career and a highest score of 310no against New Zealand
Last Updated: 25/12/20 12:51pm
England batting great John Edrich has died at the age of 83.
Edrich played 77 Test matches during a 13-year international career between 1963 and 1976, scoring 5,138 runs at 43,54 with 12 centuries.
The left-hander became just the eighth player in the history of the game to score a triple century when he made an unbeaten 310 against New Zealand at Headingley in 1965, an innings that included 52 fours and five sixes. He was also the first to hit a boundary in one-day international cricket.
Edrich is one of only 25 men to have scored 100 first-class centuries – he made 103 in total – as he served Surrey with distinction between 1958 and 1978.
His Test debut came against the West Indies in June 1963 and his international career, in which he also played seven ODIs, came to an end against the same opposition in July of 1976.
Edrich was diagnosed with the rare, and incurable, form of leukaemia known as Waldenstrom’s in 2000.
“I hadn’t seen a doctor for about 10 years,” Edrich said. “But I’d been feeling tired for a while. Having taken blood tests, they discovered leukaemia. It was quite a shock. You can’t fight it. You have to have faith in your consultant and the treatment.”
Sir Ian Botham was among the first to pay tribute following Edrich’s passing.
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
— Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) December 25, 2020
Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive, 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.”
Edrich’s contribution for Surrey was marked in 2015 when he opened the John Edrich Gates at the Pavilion End of the Kia Oval.
He was also voted into the club’s all-time greatest XI last year, having made over 39,000 first-class runs.
Surrey chairman Richard Thompson 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.”
Former England and Surrey batsman Mark Butcher said; “A test triple-centurion and @surreycricket legend. #RIP”.