FORMER Sussex cricketing star Jim Parks has died at the age of 90.

At the time of his death Parks was England's oldest surviving male Test cricketer having featured in 46 Tests between 1954 and 1968.

Parks came from a cricketing family with his father Jim senior, uncle Harry and son Bobby all playing first-class cricket.

He was considered one of Sussex's best-ever players after playing 739 games for the club over a 23 year period. During this time Parks amassed a massive 36,673 runs.

Born in Haywards Heath, Parks was first capped by England to be a specialist batsman, although it was known that he was an excellent fielder for a one-off Test in 1954.

In 1958 he took up wicketkeeping full-time because Sussex needed a keeper to replace Ruper Webb after he retired.

This turned out to be a vital move for his international career as soon after taking the gloves he was recalled to the national side. On his return, he scored a century against West Indies in Trinidad, and he became England's regular keeper in the mid-1960s.

He averaged 32.16 with the bat for England, with a highest score of 108 not out against South Africa in Durban in 1964 - and finished with a mammoth total of 1,087 first-class catches and 94 stumpings.

In 2016, Parks spoke about how wicket-keepers were underestimated during his playing days.

He told Cricinfo: "Back then, wicket-keepers never worried about scoring hundreds. Their work behind the stumps was more important. They'd bat at nine or 10.

"Catch Bradman or George Headley for a low score and your team had a head start. Miss a stumping off one of these greats and you were in trouble."

After his retirement from playing, Parks returned to his beloved Sussex as marketing manager. He also enjoyed two spells as club president, while he also managed an Old England XI, re-uniting him with many of his old team-mates, for benefit and charity matches.

Parks leaves behind his wife Jenny and two children Bobby and Louise.

A statement from Sussex read: "Our thoughts and sincere condolences are very much with Jenny and with Jim’s son Bobby.

"The arrangements for Jim’s Funeral will be announced in due course and the players of both teams will wear black armbands at Taunton tomorrow evening as a mark of respect to Jim, who will be sadly missed by all at Hove.

"Sussex announced he died in hospital in Worthing on Tuesday, following a fall at home last week.

"Until very recently he was a much-loved and frequent visitor to Hove, always taking a walk round the ground with his wife Jenny during play to meet friends and talk to supporters.

"Our thoughts and sincere condolences are very much with Jenny and with Jim’s children Bobby and Louise."