LONDON: Former England bowler Mike Hendrick has died aged 72, his old county Derbyshire announced Tuesday. “Derbyshire County Cricket Club is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Mike Hendrick, one of the county’s finest post-war cricketers,” said a statement on the club’s website. Hendrick had been suffering from bowel and liver cancer for some time. In an article in The Times published earlier this month to coincide with the 40th anniversary of England’s 1981 Ashes series win, Hendrick said he was “in the departure lounge but the flight has not quite left yet”. Hendrick only played two Tests in that series but was more heavily involved in England’s 1977 and 1978/9 Ashes successes against arch-rivals Australia. Renowned for his accuracy, Hendrick took 87 wickets in 30 Tests at an average of 25.83 from 1974 to 1981 at a time when he faced competition for an England place from the likes of John Snow, Bob Willis, Chris Old, John Lever and Graham Dilley in attacks boasting all-rounders of the calibre of Tony Greig and Ian Botham. He several times took four wickets in a Test innings, with a best of 4-28 against India at Edgbaston in 1974. His England career was effectively ended in 1982 when Hendrick received a three-year ban for taking part in a ‘rebel’ tour of South Africa. He also played in 22 one-day internationals and was the leading bowler at the 1979 World Cup, with 10 wickets from five matches. But the indelible image associated with Hendrick from that tournament was in the final at Lord’s when West Indies great Vivian Richards, already past a hundred, hit him for an audacious six off the last ball of the innings in a match England would go on to lose heavily by 92 runs. Hendrick, however, maintained he had Richards out lbw first ball, but in an era before reviews, there was no way for England to overturn the not out decision. For his native Derbyshire, he took 497 first-class wickets at 20.05. Hendrick is the fourth England player involved in the 1981 Ashes to have died after Bob Woolmer, Dilley and Willis.