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Donald Carr, former TCCB secretary, dies aged 89

Donald Carr 1926-2016 PA Photos

Donald Carr, the former Derbyshire and England batsman who went on to become one of the most prominent administrators of the post-war era, has died at the age of 89.

In a first-class career that spanned from 1945 to 1968, Carr scored nearly 20,000 runs and claimed 328 wickets with his left-arm spin for Oxford University, Derbyshire and England, whom he captained at Madras in 1951-52 in his second and final appearance.

He also played in the third "Victory Test" against Australia in 1945, alongside the likes of Len Hutton, Wally Hammond, Cyril Washbrook and Bill Edrich, and was a notable footballer too, winning his Blue at Oxford, and playing in front of 100,000 people at Wembley in two Amateur Cup final appearances for Pegasus in the 1950s.

Carr captained Derbyshire between 1955 and 1962, and was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1960.

However, it was his subsequent career in administration for which Carr will be remembered. He was assistant secretary of MCC from 1962 to 1974, during which time he was privy to one of the most contentious moments in cricket history, the omission and subsequent selection of Basil D'Oliveira for the tour of South Africa in 1968. He went on to become secretary of the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) and the Cricket Council until 1986.

"Cricket has lost one of its greatest friends," said Colin Graves, the ECB chairman. "Someone who gave a lifetime of service to our game; as a cricketer, a captain, a club secretary, an England tour manager, and, of course, as a senior administrator - serving MCC and the TCCB with distinction in a leadership role as the game moved into the modern, professional era; and always meeting the many difficult challenges he faced during this period with his customary good humour and charm.

"This is deeply sad news for all Donald's many cricketing friends and former colleagues and team-mates across the domestic and international game. He will be hugely missed by those who worked and played with him and we send our condolences and sympathies to all in the Carr family."

The President of MCC, Roger Knight, said: "Donald's career in cricket, especially at Lord's, is unlikely ever to be surpassed. As a cricketer, he captained both his university and his county, and after turning to administration became Assistant Secretary (Cricket) of MCC, and Secretary of the Cricket Council and of TCCB from their formation in 1974.

"His period of office included the supervision of the first three World Cups in England, the advent of one-day cricket and the introduction of sponsorship in the professional game.

"Donald's commitment to cricket, his skills - both on the field and in the committee room - spanned more than 40 years, from his first-class debut in 1945, for England against Australia in the Victory "Test" at Lord's, to his retirement in 1986.

"He also served on MCC committees, on the Middlesex committee and as captain of Cross Arrows Cricket Club. He will be deeply and sorely missed across the cricket world.

"The MCC flag, over the Main Ground, and the Cross Arrows flag, over the Nursery Ground, have been lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect to a man who devoted so much of his life to the game."