Edward Ralph Dexter CBE (born 15 May 1935) is a former England international cricketer. An aggressive middle-order batsman of ferocious power and a right-arm medium bowler, he captained Sussex and England in the early 1960s. He is known by the nickname Lord Ted.


Dexter’s power amazed everyone who had not had the joy of watching him in other innings in England and in Perth. He took chances – thank goodness for those who look on batting as a challenge! – but he made superb strokes, with his driving tremendous in power and placement. Sometimes, in fact, the placement didn’t matter so much because the power sent the ball through men recognized as outstanding fielders. Once such stroke, a cover-drive, was through Thomas’s legs just as he got his hands there. I felt glad that the ball went between his legs and that his hands were not behind it. Not even Jehu drove more furiously than Dexter, and a direct hit on the leg or hands might well have put this accomplished fieldsman out of action.

Johnnie Moyes

Ted Dexter was a cavalier batsman in the old amateur style and a ferocious strokemaker, but was known as being moody and mercurial. As a batsman he could leave the hands of the fielders team bruised and reddened with his powerful drives and cuts. To see “Lord Ted” thrashing the fast bowling was one of the most thrilling sights in cricket and he could make any run chase look possible. His great fault was that he seldom gave a bowling attack due respect and got himself out with rash strokes. Though more a batsman than a bowler he could seam and swing the ball, was a useful third paceman even at Test level and was an excellent fielder anywhere. Dexter was a natural one day player, where his big hitting, tidy bowling, keen fielding and lively captaincy gave Sussex their first two trophies – the inaugural Gillette Cup in 1963 and again in 1964. He devised innovative field placings for limited overs games and his ‘ideas changed the game forever. It is no exaggeration to say that Dexter was the man who shaped modern cricket’. In first-class matches he bored easily and his strokes of genius were in the end outweighed by his mistakes. As captain he had “more theories than Charles Darwin“, sometimes shifting fielders on a whim and was hailed as a genius if a wicket fell as a result. He was dictatorial on the field, rarely consulting with his bowlers about field placings and pulling them off by saying “You’ve had enough now. Get down to third man

Outside cricket

Ted Dexter’s wife arrived in Australia. Ted’s wife was a looker and a model. She is a very lovely lady, but on hearing of her arrival, when Ted faced the press, the majority of questions posed were about his wife…during an England cricket team press conference!

Fred Trueman

Ted Dexter was a talented golf player, an amateur champion and could have achieved greatness in that sport if he had not chosen cricket. In Australia in 1962-3 he played a foursome with Norman Von Nida, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player (with Colin Cowdrey as his caddy) and they offered to take him to America to become a tournament golfer, but Dexter refused. He married Susan Georgina Longfield, the daughter of a former Kent cricketer Tom Longfield, whom he met at a party Cambridge University while still an undergraduate and decided to marry on sight. She worked as a model and she joined her husband on the tour of Australia in 1962-63, where she generated considerable press interest and earned more than any of the cricketers. They have a son Thomas and a daughter Genevieve. He owned Jaguar cars, Norton motorbikes,greyhounds, race horses and in 1970 piloted his Aztec BPA-23 Pommies Progress to Australia with his family to cover the Ashes as a journalist, covering 12,000 miles and making 24 stops. He worked for the liberal The Observer and the tabloid The Sunday Mirror and managed his style to suit both their editors. His fondness for horse racing excelled even that of Gary Sobers and Brian Close. He carried a then rare portable television to watch races in cricket dressing rooms and once declared a Sussex innings from Brighton Racecourse. He co-wrote with Clifford Makins the crime novel Testkill (1976) where an Australian bowler is murdered during play at a Test match against England at Lord’s.

In December 2012, on BBC 1‘s Antiques Roadshow, Dexter appeared with expert Paul Atterbury who confessed to having held Dexter as a personal hero since childhood. Dexter explained that his father, Major R. M. Dexter, had been an officer with the Royal Artillery‘s 84th Brigade Royal Field Artillery and had lived through the Battle of the Somme. He was the only serving officer who enlisted at the start of the war to have survived until the end, and had been awarded the Military Cross, a medal which, sadly, had now been stolen.


Ted Dexter’s Test career batting averages
Opponents Season Tests Inn Not out Runs Highest
Average 100s 50s Ct Wickets Best
vs  New Zealand 1958 1 1 52 52 52.00 1 0/23
in  Australia 1958-59 2 4 18 11 4.50
in  New Zealand 1958-59 2 2 142 141 71.00 1 3 3/23 8.66
vs  India 1959 2 3 58 45 19.33 3 2/24 23.66
in  West Indies 1959-60 5 9 1 526 126* 65.75 2 2 1 5 2/7 34.00
vs  South Africa 1960 5 9 241 56 26.77 2 5 3/79 31.40
vs  Australia 1961 5 9 378 180 42.00 1 1 2 9 3/16 24.77
in  Pakistan 1961-62 (c) 3 4 1 303 205 101.00 1 1 4 6 3/86 34.16
in  India 1961-62 (c) 5 9 2 409 126* 58.42 1 3 2 4 2/84 60.00
vs  Pakistan 1962 (c) 5 6 1 446 172 89.20 1 3 3 7 4/10 28.42
in  Australia 1962-63 (c) 5 10 481 99 48.10 5 2 11 3/65 33.90
in  New Zealand 1962-63 (c) 3 3 84 46 28.00 3 0/2
vs  West Indies 1963 (c) 5 10 340 73 34.00 3 1 7 4/38 32.42
vs  Australia 1964 (c) 5 8 384 174 48.00 1 2 4 3 2/16 39.33
in  South Africa 1964-65 5 7 1 344 172 57.33 1 1 4 2 1/33 76.50
vs  New Zealand 1965 2 4 2 199 80* 99.50 3 1 1 1/18 45.00
vs  Australia 1968 2 4 97 38 24.25 2 0/3
Total 1958-68 62 102 8 4502 205 47.89 9 27 29 66 4/10 34.93
Ted Dexter’s 9 Test centuries
No. Century Test Opponents Season Venue City Country Result
1 141 First Test  New Zealand 1958-59 Lancaster Park Christchurch  New Zealand  England win by an innings and 99 runs
2 132* First Test  West Indies 1959-60 Kensington Oval Bridgetown  Barbados Match Drawn
3 110 Fourth Test  West Indies 1959-60 Bourda Georgetown  Guyana Match Drawn
4 180 First Test  Australia 1961 Edgbaston Birmingham  England Match Drawn
5 126* First Test  India 1961-62 Modi Stadium Kanpur  India Match Drawn
6 205 Third Test  Pakistan 1961-62 National Stadium Karachi  Pakistan Match Drawn
7 172 Fifth Test  Pakistan 1962 Kennington Oval London  England  England win by 10 wickets
8 174 Fourth Test  Australia 1964 Old Trafford Manchester  England Match Drawn
9 172 Second Test  South Africa 1964-65 New Wanderers Stadium Johannesburg  South Africa Match Drawn

Further reading

  • Peter Arnold, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Cricket, W.H. Smith, 1986
  • John Arlott, John Arlott’s 100 Greatest Batsman, Macdonald Queen Anne Press, 1986
  • Trevor Bailey, Richie Benaud, Colin Cowdrey and Jim Laker The Lord’s Taverners Fifty Greatest, Heinemann-Quixote, 1983
  • John Campbell Clark, Challenge renewed. The M.C.C. tour of Australia, 1962-3,
  • Ted Dexter, Ted Dexter’s Cricket Book, Arthur Barker, 1963
  • Ted Dexter (Ed), Rothmans Book of Test Matches: England v. Australia, 1946-1963, Arthur Barker, 1964
  • Ted Dexter, Ted Dexter Declares – An Autobiography, Stanley Paul, 1966
  • Ted Dexter and Ian Wooldrige, The International Cavaliers’ World of Cricket, Purnell, 1970
  • Ted Dexter and Michael McDonnell World of Golf, Littlehampton Book Services, 1970
  • Ted Dexter and Clifford Makins, Testkill, Allen & Unwin, 1976
  • Ted Dexter and Clifford Makins, Deadly Putter, Allen & Unwin, 1979
  • Ted Dexter, From Bradman to Boycott, The Master Batsmen, Queen Anne Press, 1981
  • Ted Dexter, My Golf, Arthur Barker, 1982
  • Ted Dexter, You Can Play Cricket, Severn House Publishers, 1982
  • Ted Dexter and David Lemmon, Walk to the Wicket, Allen and Unwin, 1984
  • Ted Dexter and Ralph Dellor, Ted Dexter’s Little Cricket Book, A Collection of Inspirational Anecdotes, Bloomsbury Publishing, 1996
  • David Frith, England Versus Australia: An Illustrated History of Every Test Match Since 1877, Viking, 2007
  • Alan Lee, Lord Ted: The Dexter Enigma, Gollancz/Witherby, 1995
  • Derek Lodge, The Test Match Career of Ted Dexter, Spellmount Publishers, 1989
  • John Snow, Cricket Rebel: An Autobiography, Littlehampton Book Services, 1976
  • E.W. Swanton (ed), The Barclays World of Cricket, Collins, 1986
  • E.M. Wellings, Dexter v Benaud (MCC tour, Australia 1962-63), Bailey Brothers & Swinfen, 1963