Sir Alec Bedser 1918-2010 April 5, 2010

'The typical English professional cricketer'

Cricinfo staff

Micky Stewart, the former Surrey captain, has described Sir Alec Bedser, who died on Sunday evening at the age of 91, as the "typical traditional English professional cricketer".

"This is obviously a very sad day for me and everybody who has been associated with Alec both during his Surrey and England days," Stewart said. "I first met him in my debut season with Surrey in 1953 when he was the senior professional and it was an honour and a great experience to play with him.

"He was an incredibly accurate medium pace bowler with great control and I know he was extremely proud of the great Sir Don Bradman saying he was the finest bowler of his type that he played against.

"He was also great friends to myself and my family. Whenever there were moments of concern, Alec was always the first on the phone to see that everything was okay.

"Alec was the typical traditional English professional cricketer and never quite understood all the fuss that goes on about the game today - both on and off the field. When he took his eleven wickets against India in 1946, the press rang at home to speak to his mother for her reaction. Her reply was, 'Well, isn't that what he's supposed to do as a bowler?'."

"Alec Bedser deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest England bowlers of all time, a master of the craft of seam bowling and a true legend of the game," said Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"His contribution to cricket in this country as a player and an administrator was immense and he will forever be associated with Surrey's famous County Championship winning sides of the 1950s," said Clarke.

Paul Sheldon, the Surrey chief executive, added: "Sir Alec was an iconic figure in world cricket. He upheld all the great traditions of the game and represented an era that has had a lasting impact on the history of Test and county cricket. Along with his twin brother Eric, he was one of the most recognisable characters in cricket across the globe.

"In our sadness at the passing of one of the worlds greatest cricketers, we can also celebrate the end of an innings which brought pleasure to millions - and who was respected by all who were privileged to have known him."