Three weeks after turning 21 he was purveying a uniquely brisk brand of spin and embarking on a Test career that would reap 86 caps and 297 wickets at 25.83 apiece, statistically the best by any spinner. An unsanctioned tour to South Africa in 1982 confined him to the county ranks, where he served until retiring in 1987 with 2,465 victims, more than anyone in the one-day era.
Now 47 and living in Sevenoaks, Underwood has two teenage daughters and sits on the Kent committee. A director of C Club Surfaces, a company specialising in artificial pitches, he also represents a travel firm offering Test packages. 'I still enjoy being involved in the game. . . I do a little radio but wouldn't mind getting involved more on the media side of things.'
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