A pillar of English cricket in the immediate post-war era, and a key player in Surrey's revival and subsequent domination in the 1950s, Alex Bedser was born within minutes of his identical twin, Eric (himself a more than capable allrounder).
A powerfully-built, naggingly accurate, medium-fast bowler, with a classical action off a short run, Bedser's stock ball was the inswinger, his most dangerous the legcutter which fizzed off the pitch like a fast legbreak.
He played twice for Surrey in 1939 (without taking a wicket) but the war forced him to wait another seven seasons for his next match.
An ever-present in the Surrey side from the beginning of the 1946 season, he was immediately picked by England and made his Test debut at the age of 28 (in what was only his 13th first-class match). He began with 11 wickets in each of his first two Tests, against India, and until 1954 he largely carried England's attack almost single handed - not that he minded as he loved nothing more than bowling.
In 1953, aged 35, he spearheaded England's Ashes victory with 39 wickets at 17.48, including 14 for 99 at Nottingham. He took 100 wickets in a season 11 times, and was instrumental in Surrey's eight Championship victories between 1950 and 1958.
In a long career he left the field of play only once, in a heatwave during a Test at Adelaide. He went to the boundary to vomit, returning to carry on bowling. As a batsman he was limited but correct, and often filled the role of nightwatchman. His fielding was safe rather than spectacular.
After his retirement in 1960 (he bowed out with 5 for 25 against Glamorgan at his beloved Oval), he continued his association with cricket, serving as an England selector for a record 23 years, and was chairman between 1969 and 1981 as well as managing England on two overseas tours. He was knighted in 1996 and made president of Surrey in 1997. Martin Williamson