England’s Spin Legend “Deadly Derek” Says Goodbye After 42 Years!

Sangeeta Viswas
1 month ago

England’s Spin Legend “Deadly Derek” Says Goodbye After 42 Years! Just this week, cricket lost a true great. Derek Underwood, England’s best spinner since World War 2, passed away at the age of 78. You might remember him as the bowler who always seemed to have Sunil Gavaskar’s number – more on that later!

Underwood Wasn’t Just A Flash in The Pan:-

He had a stellar 16-year career (1966-1982), playing 86 Tests and taking a whopping 297 wickets! That’s still the record for most Test wickets by an England spinner, even today. The closest anyone’s gotten is Graeme Swann with 255 wickets in 60 Tests.

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But wait, there’s more! Underwood wasn’t just a Test terror. He was a nightmare for batsmen in first-class cricket too. Playing for Kent for 24 years, he snagged a mind-blowing 2465 wickets!

Imagine facing a bowler who throws the ball super fast with pinpoint accuracy! That was Underwood. And between 1971 and 1982, he had some epic battles with India’s batting legends.

We All Know India is Famous For Its Spin Mastery:-

We all know India is famous for its spin mastery, but Underwood wasn’t fazed. In 20 Tests, he grabbed 62 wickets against them! Remember that famous 1971 Oval Test win for India? Underwood actually took 3 wickets for 72 runs in the second innings, trying his best to stop them.

The 1972-73 series was a whole other story, though. This was Sunil Gavaskar’s first home series, and Underwood dismissed him a whopping 4 times in 10 innings! Gavaskar only managed two fifties in that entire 5-match series. Ouch! In fact, throughout his Test career, Underwood got Gavaskar out a record 12 times!

Fast Forward To The 1976-77 Series:-

Underwood took a massive 29 wickets in 5 Tests, leading England to a 3-1 victory in India. And guess how many times he dismissed Gavaskar? Yep, you guessed it – 6 times!

Underwood wasn’t just a wicket-taking machine, though. He was also known for his great sportsmanship and humility. His passing is a huge loss to the cricketing world.

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What do YOU remember about Derek Underwood? What was your favorite moment from his career? Let us know in the comments!

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