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Full name Raymond Eric East
Born June 20, 1947, Manningtree, Essex
Current age 65 years 338 days
Major teams Essex
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
|List A span||1966-1993|
Ray East was one of the old school, an immensely popular cricketer who always conveyed a sense of fun whenever he played. That often overshadowed his ability - he took over 1000 wickets in his 19 seasons - and while he was serving Essex other less capable players at more fashionable counties represented England. Figures, however, rarely worried him. One of the game's spontaneously funny men - indeed, he could clown quite brilliantly - he formed, with David Acfield, the spin strength of an Essex team which employed mainly seam bowling. East, who stepped virtually straight from village cricket into the county game, was a shrewd, philosophical cricketer who enjoyed both the games - of cricket and life. From time to time, too, he would heave a few right-handed blows at other bowlers. His most impressive figures were achieved in the John Player League, in which he bowled what was at the time the most expensive spell - 1 for 79 in eight overs - and four times took five wickets in an innings. In his first-class career he scored 7148 runs and took 254 catches. He will be remembered, though, and with relish, as one who brought much gaiety to a game which sometimes was in danger of becoming too seriously mercenary. After retiring he became Essex's coach and their second-team captain.
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