The news was released during the closing stages of England's eight-wicket defeat by Australia in the fifth Test at Edgbaston and prompted a bizarre final scene to end Dexter's unhappy period as chairman. As the news was relayed on Radio 3's Test Match Special the crowd of about 1,000 - many of whom were listening to the commentary - broke into a round of spontaneous applause.
This brought mystified looks from the players and officials, and play was momentarily held up until the noise died down. Enlightenment came 45 minutes later from the public address announcer, who said: 'For those of you wondering what that round of a applause was, it was to mark the resignation of Ted Dexter.' The players were were given the news officially during the lunch interval.
The result put Australia 4-0 ahead in the series, to give England a record of having won nine and lost 21 of their 44 matches under his chairmanship. Dexter, 58, will step down as chairman of the England cricket committee in three weeks, six months early. He will be in charge of selection for the final Test, which starts in a fortnight.
As well as having to carry the can for England's run of poor results, Dexter's public image has been tarnished by his habit of making foolish statements, most recently regarding Micky Stewart's support of his son Alec during the selection process for a new captain.
A successor will be appointed after the specification of Dexter's job has been re-examined.
Mark Lawson, page 16
Lunar tunes, page 28
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