Root shares messages from Dexter during dip in form after England legend’s death

Joe Root has paid tribute to Ted Dexter after the former England captain died at the age of 86.

Dexter played 62 Test matches for England and scored 4,502 runs at an average of 47.89, captaining the side 30 times.

The MCC announced that Dexter had passed away on Wednesday surrounded by his family.

Speaking before the second day of the third Test between England and India, current England skipper Root paid tribute to Dexter, revealing that he once sent him some emails offering him advice on his batting.

"It's a really sad day, sad news," Root told Sky Sports. "He played a huge amount of cricket for England and a brilliant servant to the game.

"It is terribly sad to hear that and hopefully we can put on a performance in his memory.

"I never really had the pleasure of spending much time with him but he did send me a couple of emails out of the blue when I wasn't playing so well, telling me how to get back to where I wanted to be.

"I really appreciated that and he didn't have to do that, so it was nice of him to do that."

Michael Atherton, who earned his first call-up to the England Test team while Dexter was chairman of selectors, also paid tribute, telling Sky Sports: "It’s a very sad day for English cricket as Ted was an icon of the English game.

"He was a great post-war batsman and an England captain as well; while it’s a sad day he lived a very full and varied life.

"He was a great family man and a great sportsman, not just at cricket but he was a brilliant golfer too; they all say he was the best of the cricketer-golfers and could easily have turned professional in golf had he turned his attentions to that game.

"But it was cricket that held him and he was a batsman of real dash and flair – somebody who stood up to fast bowlers in days when there were no helmets.

"He kind of dragged the game into the modern age. The Sixties was quite a dour decade for Test cricket but Ted was right at the vanguard of one-day cricket and his county, Sussex, won the inaugural Gillette Cup in 1963 and again in 1964.

"Of course, he was also chairman of selectors from 1989 to 1993, which coincided with the start of my career – he gave me my first England cap – and then made me England captain, although he resigned the post shortly afterwards!

"To be honest he was a bit of an eccentric. England captains who worked with him remember that occasionally he’d turn up to meetings on his motorbike and in his leathers.

"He had this great kind of flair for life; he really wanted to embrace life in all of its possibilities so, in fact, when he finished playing and he went to Australia as a journalist, he flew his family in a plane over there.

"He had this great love of life and I think that’s what you took from him – that the game was there to be enjoyed and you should try to leave your mark on it and he certainly did."

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