Cricket world mourns death of legendary English icon

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, former England opener John Edrich in his playing days.
John Edrich was known as a courageous batsman that was admired by many. Pic: Getty/ECB

Cricket fans have been flooding social media with tributes to John Edrich, the legendary former England opener who has sadly passed away at the age of 83.

Edrich is being remembered as a gentleman of the sport, as well as incredibly brave figure who stood up to some of the fiercest bowling attacks in the 1960s and 70s.

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The left-handed opener played 77 Tests, scoring 5138 runs at an average of 43.54.

He also top-scored in cricket's first one-day international in Melbourne in 1971, making 82 off 119 balls against Australia.

Edrich formed a famous opening batting partnership with Ian Botham for England, and his his fellow cricket great says he was shattered to hear news of his death.

"Very sad news today to wake up on Christmas Day and to be told that John Edrich has passed away!! Botham wrote on Twitter.

"A wonderful man who I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with...RIP"

Edrich, who died of natural causes at his home in Scotland, scored 103 first-class centuries and was awarded an MBE in 1977.

ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: "With John's passing, we've lost a prolific and fearless batsman - one of the select few who have scored more than 5000 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."

Former opener remembered fondly by fans

Edrich's exploits for England are being remembered fondly by fans, many of whom have left touching tributes to the batsman on social media.

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."

with AAP

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