Members of the Committee of M.C.C. have expressed their sadness at news of the death of former Secretary, Committee member and Honorary Life Member Jack Bailey.
Bailey began his career at Lord’s as M.C.C. Assistant Secretary with press, public relations and commercial responsibilities in 1967. Seven years later, he succeeded Billy Griffith to become the eleventh Secretary of M.C.C. – a position he was to hold until 1987.
It was an era characterised by a period of great change in cricket, as the game sought to keep pace with changes in society. This included: the abolition of amateur status; the creation of TCCB (now ECB); the advent of one-day cricket; the exclusion of South Africa from world cricket; and the challenges posed by Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket. All were tackled with Bailey’s customary vigour. Under his leadership, ICC launched the first Cricket World Cup in 1975 and by the time of his departure, M.C.C. was on the cusp of its Bicentenary celebrations and the completion of the Mound Stand.
A regular contributor to the Sunday Telegraph before his appointment to M.C.C., Bailey later wrote for The Times and authored a biography of his Essex teammate and namesake, Trevor Bailey, as well as a memoir of his time at Lord’s.
He returned to the Committee Room in 1995 to serve on M.C.C.’s General Purposes sub-committee for seven years, the latter three coinciding with a term as an elected member of the M.C.C. Committee. During all his time at Lord’s, he was a great stalwart of the Club’s Members and its staff.
Educated at Christ’s Hospital, Bailey made his first-class debut for Essex in 1953. He played 71 matches for the county and a further 31 for Oxford in a career spanning 112 first-class matches, in which he took 347 wickets with his right-arm fast-medium bowling, at an average of 21.62.
He was elected as a Member of M.C.C. in 1958 and participated in tours to East Africa, South America, Canada and the United States, Holland and Denmark.
He played in 63 matches for M.C.C. between 1956 and 1981, capturing 204 wickets at an unusually low average of 11.64 runs apiece and including nine five-wicket hauls.
Playing for M.C.C. against Ireland in a First-class match in 1966, Bailey returned amazing match figures of 13 for 57, taking 5 for 33 in the first innings and a career-best 8 for 24 in the second.