Former Norfolk skipper Phil Sharpe dies

Phil Sharpe, right, with former cricket umpire and Yorkshire player Dickie Bird (left) and former Yorkshire cricketer Brian Close. Phil Sharpe, right, with former cricket umpire and Yorkshire player Dickie Bird (left) and former Yorkshire cricketer Brian Close.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
11:21 AM

The former Norfolk cricket captain, Phil Sharpe, has died aged 77.

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Phil Sharpe’s life in numbers

Born: December 27, 1936, Shipley, Yorkshire

Teams: England, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk

Test record (1963-1969): 12 matches, 786 runs, average 46.23, HS 111 v New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 1969, 17 catches

First Class record (1956-1976): 493 matches, 22,530 runs, average 30.73, HS 228 for Derbyshire v Oxford University, 618 catches

Norfolk record (1977-1982): 50 matches, 2,038 runs, average 30.87, HS 117no v Hertfordshire in 1977, 70 catches

Sharpe played 12 Tests in the 1960s, notably few given his average of 46.23, and was a member of seven county championship-winning teams at Yorkshire.

He played for Yorkshire between 1958 and 1974, joined Derbyshire for two seasons and made a swansong at the age of 47 when he captained Norfolk in a NatWest Trophy tie at Leicester, in which he was lbw to Les Taylor for a duck before a young David Gower hit an unbeaten half-century. He finished playing for Norfolk in 1982.

It is for his reputation as one of the greatest slip fielders of all time that he will perhaps be best remembered.

In that position, Sharpe took more than 600 catches in his 20-year career - many of them breath-takingly brilliant - and he also made in excess of 22,000 first-class runs.

Yorkshire president Dickie Bird, a contemporary of Sharpe’s as a player, said: “I grew up with Philip in the nets at Yorkshire.

“He was one of the best slip fielders I ever saw. Philip was a true gentleman, and he will be a sad loss to Yorkshire Cricket.”

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