Monday, June 08, 2015
Happy Birthday Derek Underwood
How can one of the sporting heroes of my youth be 70? It's ridiculous.
Anyway, happy birthday to Derek Underwood. Along with Jim Laker and Graeme Swann, he must be one of England's three greatest spinners since Word War II.
In this video Richie Benaud takes us through two of his greatest performances: against Australia at Headingley in 1972 and against Pakistan at Lord's in 1974.
Both took place on helpful wickets and Underwood had the reputation of being deadly in such conditions.
But he was also a great bowler when things were more in favour of the batsman. I remember him fighting and eventually winning a duel with Greg Chappell in the second innings at Old Trafford in 1997 while taking 6-66 and giving England a victory.
As you will see from the video, Underwood bowled left-arm finger spin but at a faster pace than almost any other bowler. He could even knock stumps out of the ground.
Later. And happy birthday to Ray Illingworth (who was England captain in 1972) who is 83 today.