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November 21, 2008
McVicker, a fast-medium bowler and middle-order batsman, came late to county cricket, making his name with Lincolnshire in the Minor Counties Championship before signing for Warwickshire in 1969 at the age of 28. Earlier in his career he had trials with Lancashire and Derbyshire with no success.
In his first full summer at Edgbaston he took 74 wickets at 20.05, including a career-best 7 for 29 against Northamptonshire in his fifth Championship outing. He lost form in 1970 but took another 74 wickets in 1971. He continued as the county's most reliable bowler, helping them to the Championship in 1972 when he was their leading wicket-taker with 63 at 23.27. But in 1973 he lost his place in the side and was surprisingly released at the end of the summer despite 54 wickets at 24.53.
He turned down a move to his native Lancashire in preference to Leicestershire where he enjoyed three successful seasons, taking 147 wickets and helping them to the County Championship and Benson & Hedges Cup in 1975. His role with the bat - he made three successive fifties in the run-in - played a crucial part in their Championship success while he won the Gold Award in the B&H final for his 4 for 20.
He retired at the end of 1976 but in late July 1977 Leicestershire sent an SOS to him, via the national press, summoning him back from holiday. He answered the call and remained in the one-day side for the rest of the summer.
In all, he took 453 first-class wickets at 25.53 and scored 3108 runs at 19.79. In one-day matches he took 214 wickets and made 996 runs.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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