England cricket legend John Edrich has passed away aged 83.
Edrich played 77 Tests for the Three Lions between 1963 and 1976, scoring 12 hundreds.
He is one of only 25 men in history to have scored 100 first-class centuries having represented Surrey with distinction for 20 years between 1958 and 1978.
Edrich made his England Test debut against the West Indies in June 1963, ending his career at the top level against the same opposition in July 1976.
He also played ins even one day internationals for England, including their first ever match in the format against Australia in January 1971.
Ian Botham led the tributes on Twitter, posting: “Very sad news today to wake up on Christmas Day and to be told that John Edrich has passed away.
“A wonderful man who I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with. RIP.”
Edrich made his Surrey debut in the final game of the 1958 season, and his prodigious talent soon became apparent as he cracked 1,799 runs in the following season at an average of almost 53.
He would go on to amass almost 40,000 first-class runs at an average of over 45.
In July 1965, he scored 310 not out for England against New Zealand at Headingley, spending more than eight hours at the crease and hitting 52 fours and five sixes.
Edrich was appointed England batting coach in 1995 but five years later was struck down with a rare form of leukaemia.
He was given only seven years to live, but defied expectation and announced in 2012 he had been cured of cancer by a course of injections.
Edrich is widely considered one of the best batsmen of his generation and one of England’s greatest ever.