'Great sadness': Cricket rocked by sudden death of former Test bowler

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Joey Benjamin, pictured here during a tour match for England against South Australia.
Joey Benjamin celebrates a wicket during a tour game for England against South Australia. (PA NEWS, Rebecca Naden/AAP)

The cricket world is mourning the sudden death of English fast bowler Joey Benjamin, who died on Tuesday at the age of 60.

Benjamin, who played one Test match for England in 1994, died after suffering a heart attack.

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Born in St Kitts and Nevis, the right-arm fast bowler became a fan favourite in English cricket.

After initially signing for Warwickshire he enjoyed a career-best stint at Surrey between 1992 and 1999.

"It is with great sadness that today Warwickshire County Cricket Club has learned of the passing of former fast bowler Joey Benjamin," his former club announced on Tuesday.

"Benjamin enjoyed four seasons with the Bears where he made 25 First Class and 26 List A appearances, taking a combined 87 wickets across both formats.

"The thoughts of everyone at Warwickshire CCC are with Joey's family and close friends at this difficult time."

Surrey added: "Surrey County Cricket Club is mourning the loss of Joey Benjamin. The Club flag on top of the Micky Stewart Members' Pavilion is at half-mast."

In 1994 Benjamin played his one and only Test match at the Oval against South Africa at the age of 33.

He took 4-42 in the first innings before Devon Malcolm’s match-winning nine-wicket haul in the second.

Benjamin then earned a spot in England's squad for the 1994-95 Ashes tour of Australia, but a bout of Chicken Pox laid him low and he was never selected in the XI.

He did play two one-day internationals on the tour, one against Australia in Sydney and the other against Zimbabwe in Brisbane.

Benjamin finished his professional career with 387 first-class wickets at an average of 29.94.

After retirement he coached at Reigate Grammar School in Surrey.

Joey Benjamin, pictured here posing for a portrait at Surrey Cricket Club.
Joey Benjamin poses for a portrait at Surrey Cricket Club. (Credit: Phil Cole /Allsport/Getty)

Cricket world mourns tragic death of Joey Benjamin

Former Surrey teammate Martin Bicknell led the tributes to Benjamin on social media.

"Just heard some shocking news about the loss of Joey Benjamin," Bicknell tweeted.

"Joey was one of a kind, incredibly popular in the Surrey dressing room back in the day, so sad. RIP Benjy.

"Joey was absolutely outstanding for us in the mid-1990s, particularly that 1994 season.

"He hustled batsmen and nicked them off with his outswinger. He was a fine bowler and even though he didn't start until pretty late he was unlucky not to play more Test cricket.

"It's come as a massive and terrible shock to all of us that he's been lost to us, he seemed so incredibly fit."

Fellow teammates and fans also expressed their shock.

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