Ted Dexter : biography
Edward Ralph Dexter CBE (born 15 May 1935 in Milan, Italy) (better known as Ted Dexter and nicknamed Lord Ted) is a former English cricketer. An aggressive middle-order batsman of ferocious power and a right-arm medium bowler, he captained Sussex and England in the early 1960s.
If you are going to lose, you might as well lose good and proper and try to sneak a win.
- Ted Dexterp150, Freddi
Dexter retired from cricket to concentrate on other interests in 1968, remaining a journalist, becoming a broadcaster and founding a PR company. In the late 1980s he joined Bob Willis to find new fast bowlers for English cricket. Sponsored by a brewery, application forms were sent to pubs to encourage young men, but most were filled in by jokers and drunks and only a few potential candidates were discovered. These were trained with javelin throwing and other exercises to strengthen their back and arm muscles, but the only bowler in the scheme who played first-class cricket had been signed up by Warwickshire before its inception. The plan therefore failed even though it generated much publicity and showed a certain amount of imagination and initiative.
In 1987, Dexter had the idea of developing a ranking system for Test cricketers. He developed the system with statisticians Gordon Vince and Rob Eastaway, and it was launched as the Deloittes Ratings. The Ratings steadily gained credibility, and were formally adopted by the International Cricket Council in 2003, and have become the official ICC Player Rankings. In an article in The Cricketer magazine in 2005, Dexter was quoted as saying: "The rankings idea was my biggest contribution to cricket. Much better than being known for hitting a couple of extra-cover drives."Wisden Cricketer Magazine "As easy as 1,2,3?", Simon Lister, January 2005
In 1989 he succeeded Peter May as Chairman of the England Cricket Selectors, receiving £60,000 pay to compensate for his lost business interests, the first chairman to be so paid.p6, Eager and Ross "Dexter was soon in action, initially by way of press conferences and then, as the season developed, by lightning visits to the county grounds. These he made, despite an operation to a heel that put him for a while on crutches, by motorbike and car, a demonstration of enthusiasm and interest that was impressive." After the chaos of 1988 – the Summer of Four Captains he wanted the tough Mike Gatting as captain, but was vetoed by Ossie Wheatley and his status was immediately undermined. Instead the more relaxed David Gower was appointed for the six Test series. Dexter tackled the role with energy and enthusiasm, but the shine soon wore off as Allan Border’s 1989 Australians beat England 4-0 to regain the Ashes, their first series victory in England since 1975. His cause was not helped by the announcement of the Mike Gatting’s Rebel tour of South Africa in the middle of the series, which removed the England players Bill Athey, Kim Barnett, Ian Butcher, Chris Broad, Chris Cowdrey, Graham Dilley, Richard Ellison, John Emburey, Phil DeFreitas, Neil Foster, Bruce French, Paul Jarvis, Matthew Maynard, Tim Robinson, Greg Thomas and Alan Wells from contention.p81, Eager and Ross Admittedly England were already 2-0 down in the series and none of these players had shown any talent so far in the summer, but it was an indication of the division and demoralisation of English cricket. In the First Test at Headingley Dexter selected four fast bowlers and no spinners for the team, advised Gower to put Australia in to bat, only to see them made 601/7 and win by 210 runs. For the Second Test he wrote an inspirational hymn for the England cricketers to sing called "Onward Gower’s Soldiers" and appointed a team chaplain, but remained aloof from the players and seldom visited the dressing room. At the end of the summer he told the press that he couldn’t think of any mistakes he had made and later joked that the "lines of Venus were in the wrong juxtaposition", which was incorrectly translated by the press as a genuine belief in New Age mysticism. The lackadaisical Gower was fired at the end of the summer and the more professional Graham Gooch was made captain until 1993, despite Dexter having called his previous appointment as captain as "being hit in the face by a dead fish".p151 Freddi