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.
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
— Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) December 25, 2020
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.
ECB chief executive 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.
— mark butcher (@markbutcher72) December 24, 2020
“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.”