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Cricket mourns England Test great Trevor Bailey

10 February 11 12:57 GMT

Cricket is mourning former England Test player Trevor Bailey, who died in a fire at his home aged 87.

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke praised Bailey's "enormous contribution to the game".

And he also hailed him as "one of the finest all-rounders this country has ever produced."

Bailey played 61 Tests for England during his playing career and later was a member of the BBC Test Match Special (TMS) commentary team for 26 years.

Posting on social network site Twitter, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said: "Desperate news re. Trevor Bailey. Dogged batsman, aggressive bowler. Intelligent cricketer. Wonderfully concise pundit. Great sense of humour."

Fellow TMS commentator Henry Blofeld paid tribute to Bailey, saying: "He was a tremendous colleague, a great friend and man, I shall miss hugely.

"To work with, he was exactly like he was as a cricketer. Trevor was canny and let nothing pass. He hated people who were never giving all. It was like the way he batted and bowled.

"He had a good sense of humour. He would always say 'Ah, the medicine' whenever he heard the cork of a champagne bottle crack in the background."

"He hasn't been well for some time and found life a bit of a struggle, but going the way he did is most unfair."

Bailey spent his entire first-class career with Essex, captaining the side in the 1960s and going on to serve as club secretary.

Former team-mate Doug Insole, now president of the club, said: "Trevor was a great friend for well over 60 years. We played football and cricket for Cambridge University and were colleagues in the Essex side for about 15 years.

"In the England team in the 1950's Trevor was a tower of strength - a great all rounder with a cast iron temperament. He was one of a kind and a very sad loss to his many friends."

Bailey scored 2,290 runs and took 132 wickets for England during his Test career and was a member of the side which won three successive Ashes series against Australia in 1953, 1954-55 and 1956.

Former Prime Minister and cricket fan Sir John Major recalled: "One of my abiding memories as a small boy is of Trevor Bailey and Willie Watson batting at Lord's to save the Test match against the Australians. It was a superb effort, without which we would not have won back the Ashes in 1953.

"Trevor was a great servant of English cricket - a fine bowler and a team player, prepared to bat anywhere from number one to seven, and with great skill and success.

"He has certainly earned his place in the history of English cricket."

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