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Mike Hendrick, former Derbyshire and England seamer, dies aged 72

England's Mike Hendrick bowls Getty Images

Mike Hendrick, the former Derbyshire and England seamer who was also Ireland's first professional coach, has died at the age of 72.

Hendrick, a tall seamer known for his classical side-on action and capable of expertly harnessing English conditions, played 30 Tests and 22 ODIs for England, as well as enjoying a long career in county cricket with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Although he never claimed a Test five-for, his average of 25.83 was lower than many of his contemporaries, including Ian Botham, John Snow and Geoff Arnold.

His career began at Derbyshire in 1969 and he was first capped against India at Old Trafford in 1974. His finest hour came at Headingley in 1977 when his match figures of 8 for 95 helped England to regain the Ashes (although his efforts were overshadowed by Geoff Boycott scoring his 100th first-class hundred). He also enjoyed success on the 1978-79 tour of Australia.

Hendrick played the first Test of the 1981 Ashes and was famously selected ahead of Bob Willis for the third*, at Headingley - only for the invitation to be intercepted when Willis convinced the chairman of selectors, Alec Bedser, of his fitness.

In one-day cricket, Hendrick was a key member of the side that reached the 1979 World Cup final, orchestrating a famous defence of 165 against Pakistan at Headingley - where he produced figures of 12-6-15-4 - and finishing as England's leading wicket-taker in the tournament.

In all, he took more than 700 wickets for Derbyshire during a 12-year playing career, as well as helping the club to lift the 1981 NatWest Trophy. He played three more seasons with Nottinghamshire, and was later appointed the club's manager. He became Ireland coach in 1995, where he was widely praised for his role in raising standards during a five-year tenure, and later returned to Derbyshire as bowling coach.

Hendrick, known for his dry wit, had been diagnosed with cancer of the bowel and liver and recently told the Times in an interview to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Ashes: "I'm in the departure lounge, but the flight has not quite left yet."

*July 30, 2021, 12:00 GMT: An earlier version of this story wrongly identified it as the second Test.