Wyatt, an all-time great, dies aged 93

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The Independent Online
Bob Wyatt, England's oldest surviving Test cricket captain and a campaigner on the 1932-33 "Bodyline'' series in Australia, died yesterday at his home in Cornwall, aged 93, after a short illness. Wyatt led England on 16 occasions, playing in a total of 40 Tests for his country.

His former county, Warwickshire, who had invited him to Edgbaston in July to unveil a new stand named in his honour, held a minute's silence before the start of yesterday's match against England A and flags flew at half-mast.

Wyatt was described yesterday as one of the county's "all-time great players" by the Warwickshire chief executive, Dennis Amiss, who said: "We are all obviously very upset. It is a sad loss for cricket - he had great connections with Warwickshire and did a magnificent job as Warwickshire captain. He was very dignified and had tremendous presence. When he came to watch the big matches, players would seek him out to hear his views on the game."

Born in Surrey and educated in Coventry, Wyatt made his first-class debut for Warwickshire in 1923 and captained the county from 1930-1937. After the war, he moved to Worcestershire and became captain at New Road for two years before retiring in 1951.

During a career spanning 28 seasons, Wyatt scored 39,000 runs at an average of 40.04 and captured 900 wickets at an average of 32.00, passing 1,000 runs in a season 17 times and 2,000 five times. Wyatt in his prime was a renowned middle-order batsman and right-arm, medium-fast bowler, scoring 2,630 runs at an average of 53.66 in 1929.

Even after retirement, he could not completely remove himself from involvement in the game and was an England selector from 1949-1954 before becoming chairman of selectors in 1950.

Tom Graveney, the Worcestershire president, who is one of the few people still alive to have played against Wyatt, has fond memories of the man. "I was just starting out with Gloucestershire in 1949 when Bob was captain of Worcestershire," the former England batsman said.

"My first recollection of Bob was seeing him bat against the Gloucestershire spinner Tom Goddard at Cheltenham. He played the first delivery defensively then bent down to pick up the ball just to make sure no one had been picking the seam."

Wyatt is survived by his wife, Molly, aged 80, who said: "He was an indomitable man."

Obituary, page 13

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