In terms of pure statistics, Randall's famous innings of 174 in the Centenary Test at Melbourne in 1977 will rank as his greatest achievement. It is a blot on the copybook of cricket statisticians that they are unable to provide data which measure out-fielding ability. If someone had studied Randall's fielding to estimate the number of runs he saved in the field, plus the runs saved purely because he was there, then he would have been a permanent member of the England Test team during the decade or so when he was at his peak. Randall appeared in less than half England's matches during the relevant period, both Tests and ODIs.
Randall seemed to thrive in Australia and his two best Test series were in that country in 1978-79 and 1982-83. On the latter trip he headed the England batting table.
One of cricket's most enduring images is the photograph of Derek doffing his cap - yes, cap - no helmets in those days - to a ferocious and frustrated Dennis Lillee en route to that brilliant 174. His innings is the focal point of a video on the Centenary Test at the International Cricket Museum in Bowral, New South Wales (Don Bradman's home town) that reminds us that Randall was Man of the Match in that landmark game.
He was also very successful in New Zealand in 1983-84, averaging 73.25. After that tour, Randall played in one Test in England in 1984, failed and was promptly ignored ever after. This, despite the fact that in 1985 he hit 2,151 runs at 53.77 and was equally prolific in domestic One Day games.
Randall joined the Notts Playing Staff in 1971 and made his First-Class debut in 1972, almost at once gaining a regular place in the Eleven. His unorthodox batting and his unbelievable fielding won the hearts of spectators throughout England and then in other parts of the world. He reached 1,000 runs in a season on thirteen occasions and also achieved the unusual feat of scoring a century and a double century in the same match (v Middlesex in 1979) and remains the only Notts player to achieve this record. In One Day games, Randall is one of only two batsmen to score over 7,000 Sunday League runs, he is the highest run-getter for Notts in the B&H competition and second only to Robinson in the Gillette/NatWest Cup.
Randall, nick-named 'Rags' or 'Arkle' - likening him to the great racehorse of the day, a creature similarly fast and occasionally unpredictable - continued in the Notts side to the end of 1992 and left the Trent Bridge Playing Staff the following summer.
Derek William Randall was born in Retford on 24 February 1951 and made his name as a member of the Retford Cricket Club, before moving on to the County staff. In 1994 he joined Suffolk and was also coach to Cambridge University. For Suffolk he was a great success and his run total of 3,935 runs is the eighth highest ever for that County. He retired in 2000, but continues to play in local matches in the East Midlands, as well as acting as coach to a Public School.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 462