Philip Sharpe Dies Aged 77

Headingley, where Phil Sharpe played for Yorkshire between 1958 and 1974
Headingley, where Phil Sharpe played for Yorkshire between 1958 and 1974
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Derbyshire, Yorkshire and England batsman Philip Sharpe has died aged 77 after a short illness.

Sharpe, botn in Shipley, spent 20 years with Yorkshire winning seven County Championship titles. He played 12 Test matches between 1963 and 1969.

An exemplary slip fielder, he took 618 catches during a first-class career in which he scored 22,530 runs in 493 matches.

Leading the tributes, Yorkshire President Dickie Bird, who knew Sharpe well, said:

"I grew up with Philip in the nets at Yorkshire. We both came through the Yorkshire system at the same time.

"He was one of the best slip fielders I ever saw. He would be ranked amongst the very best alongside the likes of Mark Waugh, Bobby Simpson, Ian Botham and Ian Chappell

"Philip was also a pugnacious batsman, who was very strong off his back foot. His trademark shot was punching the ball through mid-wicket. He picked up the length of the ball very quickly.

"In my opinion he should have played more times for England. His batting record at Test level was fantastic. Averaging over 46 is a big achievement in the international arena.

"My sympathies go out to his family. Philip was a true gentleman and he will be a sad loss to Yorkshire Cricket."

Sharpe first played for Yorkshire in 1958, leaving the club in 1975 to join Derbyshire, where he ended his first-class career one year later.

He was capped by Yorkshire in 1960, by Norfolk in 1977 and was awarded a benefit by Yorkshire in in 1971.

He played minor counties and one-day cricket for Norfolk until 1982 and after retiring, spent time on England's selection panel and between 2000 and 2008 was an England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Pitch Liaison Officer.

ECB Chairman Giles Clarke added his tribute to Sharpe, saying: "Phil was an integral part of an outstanding Yorkshire side which dominated the County Championship in the 1960s and will forever be remembered as a fine batsman and one of the greatest slip fielders the game has ever known.

"We send our condolences to his family and to the many cricketing friends he made in the course of a long and distinguished association with our First Class game."

Ahead of Yorkshire's LV= County Championship match against Lancashire that begins at Headingley this Sunday (25th May), his passing will be marked by both teams.

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