Former England captain and one of the 'greatest ever cricketers' Ted Dexter dies

Dexter devised a ranking system for Test players which was later adopted by the ICC

Former England captain Ted Dexter and one of the finest batsmen produced by the country has died aged 86, the Marylebone Cricket Club announced on Thursday.

Dexter captained England in 30 of his 62 Tests with the MCC commenting he had played "the game with the same sense of adventure and fun that captures much of the story of his remarkable life".

The statement added Dexter, also known as 'Lord Ted', passed away peacefully in a hospice in Wolverhampton, central England, on Wednesday while surrounded by his family.

"Ted was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and one of England's greatest ever cricketers," said the MCC statement.

An attacking batsman, Dexter scored 4,502 runs at an average of 47.89 for England, including nine hundreds, and took 66 wickets at 34.9.

The Sussex star was renowned for the power with which he hit the ball and one of his most eye-catching innings was against the West Indies at Lord's in 1963 when he came in at 2-1 and hit 70 off 75 deliveries.

Against the fearsome duo of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffiths, Dexter faced them down to punch his way to an innings team-mate Fred Titmus later deemed "one of the finest displays of controlled aggression I have ever witnessed ... electrifying".

After retiring, Dexter helped devise a ranking system for Test players and also became England's chairman of selectors.

The ranking system was subsequently adopted by the International Cricket Council and formed the basis of modern day ratings.

Dexter, however, had a difficult time as selector while presiding over a weakened England team from 1989-1993.

His father Ralph, a retired major, was a businessman in Italy but returned his family to England while Dexter was still a child.

An excellent all-round athlete, his sporting prowess was honed at Radley College and blossomed at Cambridge University where he captained both cricket and golf teams.

Aside from being a keen and very good golfer, he was also a horse racing enthusiast. He regularly brought portable radios and televisions to dressing rooms to check in at the track.

His career was brought to an abrupt halt when he broke his leg when he was in the process of pushing his car which had run out of petrol off the road.

Showing his traditional grit and determination he returned to the Test side three years later but his best days were behind him.

Updated: August 26th 2021, 11:44 AM
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