Derek Randall was born on 24 February, 1951 at Retford, Nottinghamshire. He went to Sir Frederick Milner Secondary Modern School at Retford. He is 5ft 8in tall (1.73m) and was a right-hand bat for Nottinghamshire and England. He timed his cover drives beautifully. Fielding at cover, his speed and anticipation saved countless runs. He played 488 first-class matches (1972-1993,) and 47 Tests and 49 ODI's for England (1976-1985). His nicknames were Arkle and Rags.

In first-class matches he played 827 innings (81 not out) scoring 28,456 runs at 38.14 with 52 hundreds and 161 fifties, a top score of 237 and 361 catches. In 47 Tests he played 79 innings (5 not out) scoring 2,470 runs at 33.37 with 7 hundreds and 12 fifties, a top score of 174 and 31 catches. In 49 ODI's he played 45 innings (5 not out) scoring 1,067 runs at 26.67 with 5 fifties, a top score of 88 and 25 catches.

It was a successful era at Nottinghamshire - Randall was part of a team which won the County Championship in 1981 and 1987, the NatWest Trophy in 1987, the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1989 and the Sunday League in 1991. For Notts he hit 1,000 first-class runs a season 8 times and scored 2 double hundreds. In a County Championship match at Trent Bridge in Sept 1979, against Middx, he scored 209 (out of 376) and 146 (out of 279) as an opener against an attack which included 3 Test bowlers - Selvey, Emburey and Edmonds.

Randall played 2 very famous Test innings for England: (i) his match-winning, second innings 150 against Australia, at Sydney in 1978-79, when England had trailed by 142 on first innings and (ii) his epic 174 in the Centenary Test at Melbourne in 1977 when England was set an unlikely 463 to win and only lost by 45 runs. His duel with Dennis Lillee was captivating. Famously, Randall acknowledged a vicious Lillee bouncer by doffing his cap.

England regained The Ashes in 1977 at home. Randall's run out of Rick McCosker in the Headingley Test, during which England won the series, had to be seen to be believed. In the previous Test, at Randall's Trent Bridge home, Geoff Boycott called Randall for a suicidal run which resulted in the latter being run out by some distance. Boycott, realising his huge error, covered his face in horror.

Randall's brilliant fielding and safe catching made him a regular choice for England in ODI's. The pinnacle of this part of his career was playing for England against the West Indies in the World Cup Final of 1979 at Lord's. Alas, West Indies won with Viv Richards scoring a brilliant 138*.

Randall was one of the great entertainers of his era with bat and in the field. He later played for Suffolk, hung up his bat in 2001 aged 50 and coached Cambridge University.

Ken Burney

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