Where are they now?: Derek Underwood

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The Independent Online
DEADLY by nickname, mild by nature, Derek Underwood, unlike Philip Tufnell, Ian Salisbury and John Emburey, knows what it is like to enjoy a tour of India. The foundations for the most successful Test career among English spinners were laid 30 summers ago, when the Bromley- born left-armer only just 18, had the finest maiden first- class season by a bowler in modern times, taking 101 wickets for Kent.

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.'

(Photograph omitted)

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