'Really sad day': World mourns death of England great Ted Dexter

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Pictured here, Ted Dexter sits next to the iconic bell at Lord's.
Ted Dexter gets set to ring the bell at Lord's to signal the start of the day's play. Pic: Getty

Tributes are rolling in across the cricket world for Ted Dexter, following the sad news that the former England captain has died at the age of 86.

Regarded as one of his generation's greatest ever batsmen, Dexter's death was confirmed by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), where he formerly served as president.

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Dexter won 62 England caps between 1958 and 1968 and captained the side on 30 occasions. He made nine Test centuries and was renowned for the dashing style with which he attacked fast bowling.

He later went on to serve as chairman of selectors while, away from the game, he was free-spirited with a love of fast cars, motorbikes, horse racing and golf, at which he was also an excellent player.

Nicknamed 'Lord Ted', Dexter's death has triggering an outpouring of tributes from across the cricket world, as fans honoured a charismatic man remembered as much for his way of life as his cricketing prowess. 

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Players wear armbands in honour of Ted Dexter

England captain Joe Root led the tributes to Dexter from the current England Test side, after starring with the bat in the third Test against India in Leeds.

"It's a really sad day, sad news," Root said at Headingley.

"An ex-captain and selector, he played a huge amount for England and a brilliant servant to the game. It's terribly sad to hear and hopefully we can put on a performance in his memory.

"I never really had the pleasure of spending much time with him but he did send me some emails, out of the blue, when I wasn't playing so well telling me how to get back to where I wanted to be.

"I really appreciated that. He didn't have to do that and it was nice of him."

Root lived up to his word on Thursday, going on to hit a superb century on his home ground as England, wearing black armbands in tribute to Dexter, established a commanding position.

Dexter, who himself loved watching Root bat, was fearless in his approach at the crease, with a 73-ball 70 against the feared West Indian pace attack of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith at Lord's in 1963 being regarded as his greatest innings.

In all, he scored 4,502 Test runs at an average of 47.89 and took 66 wickets with his medium pace. He captained Sussex to victory in the Gillette Cup in 1963 and 1964 following the creation of the one-day competition.

After retiring he ran his own business, worked as a broadcaster, wrote novels and was also instrumental in the creation of cricket's player rankings system.

Seen here, Ted Dexter with Nasser Hussain here at a 2000 awards night.
Ted Dexter is seen with Nasser Hussain here at an awards night in 2000. Pic: Getty

Another former England captain, Mike Atherton, who was given his debut by Dexter, said: "People won't remember him for numbers, they will remember the way he played the game.

"He was a great stylist who played with great flair and adventure.

"It's a day to celebrate a full and varied life, 86 - he squeezed every last drop out of life. I was very fond of him. He gave me my first cap and made me captain - and then resigned during my first game!

"You're remembered for how you played, rather than the numbers and he played the game the right way. He'd turn up to selection meetings on his bike in his leathers, with his suit underneath with the averages in a briefcase.

"He was one of those people who lived life to the full."

with AAP

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