News reached us on Christmas Day that two Surrey cricket legends had sadly passed away. John Edrich died at the age of 83 and Robin Jackman, who also played for Surrey, passed away age 75.
Edrich, played for Surrey for 20 years from 1958 until 1978 and captained the side for five seasons. The left hander scored 39,790 first class runs from 564 matches including 103 centuries. He became one of only 25 men to compile 100 tons.
Class county player and always could make the step up
Not only was Edrich a class county player, but he also always looked comfortable stepping up into international cricket. He made his test debut in June 1963 against the fearsome West Indies side. Edrich went on to play 77 tests for England, scoring 12 centuries with an average of 43.54.
He hit a magnificent unbeaten triple century in 1965 against New Zealand, smashing 52 boundaries.
During the 1977 season Edrich hit his 100th centry
In the 1977 season Edrich scored his 100th century for Surrey, the same year he was appointed an MBE for services to cricket. A year later he hung up his boots but eventually became a Test selector in 1981.
In 1995 he was named as England’s batting coach, before bad news he received hit him in the summer of 2000. He was told by doctors that he had a rare form of leukaemia and was told he had seven years to live.
He never gave up his fight against leukaemia
Undeterred by this bad news he served as President of Surrey County Cricket Club for a year in 2006/7. In 2012 he said he had been cured of cancer by a course of injections of mistletoe extract.
Surrey also suffered a double blow on the same day of Edrich’s death with news of Jackman losing his life.
Jackman played a big part in Surrey’s success in 1971 and 1982
The South African played for Surrey from 1966 until 1982. He came to light by playing a big part in Surrey’s 1971 County Championship victory. He was also key in the counties Nat West Trophy success in 1982- picking up two wickets in the final and six in the quarter finals.
Jackman played in four tests and 15 one day internationals for England. He made is test debut back in March 1981 against the West Indies.
An impressive 16 year career for Jackman
During his career which spanned 16 years he took 1,402 wickets in 399 matches.
Following his retirement, he became a successful commentator in South Africa. Jackers, as he was affectionately known was also named as Wisden Cricket of the year in 1981.
To lose one cricketing legend in a day is such sad news, but to lose two on the same day for the same county is heart-breaking. The year of 2020 has been difficult and will be remembered for many people losing their lives. On Christmas Day Surrey Cricket mourned the loss of two important personalities in the history of a great club.