Sir Ian Botham leads tributes to ‘wonderful man’ John Edrich

Sir Ian Botham led the tributes to John Edrich after the former England and Surrey batsman's death at the age of 83.

The left-handed opener played 77 Tests, scoring 5,138 runs at an average of 43.54.

He also top-scored in cricket's first one-day international in Melbourne in 1971, making 82 off 119 balls against Australia .

Botham wrote on Twitter: "Very sad news today to wake up on Christmas Day and to be told that John Edrich has passed away !!

"A wonderful man who I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with...RIP"

Edrich, who died of natural causes at his home in Scotland, scored 103 first-class centuries and was awarded an MBE in 1977.

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England batsman John Edrich, in action for Surrey County Cricket Club, 1966. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
John Edrich, Surrey and England (Photo by Don Morley/EMPICS via Getty Images)
Surrey and England cricketer John Edrich pictured signing autographs for young fans outside Lord's cricket ground after scoring a century for England against Australia in the Second Test of the 1964 Ashes series in London on 23rd June 1964. (Photo by Les Lee/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
9th August 1969: England test captain John Edrich and two century-making batsmen Phil Sharpe and Ray Illingworth take shelter as rain stops play in the Second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
John Edrich, Surrey CCC (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)
The England cricket team visit the Decca recording studio on Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London, UK, to record 'The Ashes Song', April 1971. Among them are Ray Illingworth, Geoff Boycott and John Edrich. (Photo by David Cairns/Daily Express/Getty Images)
28 AUG 1995: RAY ILLINGWORTH THE ENGLAND MANAGER AND JOHN EDRICH THE ENGLAND BATTIONG COACH ENJOY A WELL EARNED GLASS OF CHAMPANGE AS ENGLAND DRAW THE MATCH AND THE SERIES DURING THE SIXTH TEST MATCH BETWEEN ENGLAND AND THE WEST INDIES AT THE OVAL CRICKET GROUND, LONDON. Mandatory Credit: Graham Chadwick/ALLSPORT
John Edrich, team selector for the England team with opening batsman Graham Gooch during the First Test match of The Ashes series between England and Australia on 18th June 1981 at the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom (Photo by Adrian Murrell/Allsport/Getty Images)
7 JUN 1995: RAY ILLINGWORTH JOHN EDRICH AND PETER LEVER DURING NETS PRACTICE BEFORE THE FIRST CORNHILL INSURANCE TEST MATCH AT HEADINGLY. Mandatory Credit: Adrian Murrell/ALLSPORT
England selector John Edrich (right) looking serious today in the nets at Old Trafford with former England captain Ian Botham. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
John Edrich is interviewed by Club President Richard Stilgoe (Photo by Adam Davy - PA Images via Getty Images)
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ECB CEO Tom Harrison said: "With John's passing, we've lost a prolific and fearless batsman – one of the select few who have scored more than 5,000 runs for England.

"His duels with some of the world's best fast bowlers were legendary, and it's a testament to his ability that his 310 not out against New Zealand in 1965 remains the fifth highest Test score by an English batsman.

"He will be sadly missed, and our thoughts are with his family and friends."

Edrich's contribution for Surrey was marked in 2015 when he opened the John Edrich Gates at the Pavilion End of the Kia Oval.

He was also voted into the club's all-time greatest XI last year, having made over 39,000 first-class runs.

Surrey chairman Richard Thompson said: "John Edrich was truly one of the greatest players to ever play for our Club and his passing is an incredibly sad moment for us all.

"From watching his brave and charismatic batting to sitting alongside him in our Committee Room and learning about the game, to have been able to call John a friend was a high honour.

"On behalf of everyone at the Club, I would like to offer our condolences to all of John's friends, family and fans across the world – both inside and outside the game."

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