Ray Illingworth, former England cricket captain and coach, dies aged 89 | Cricket

The former England captain Ray Illingworth has died on the age of 89, Yorkshire cricket membership introduced on Saturday. Illingworth, one of many few males to steer England to a Test sequence victory in Australia, in 1970-71, had been present process radiotherapy for esophageal most cancers.

Illingworth performed 61 Tests between 1958 and 1973, scoring 1,836 Test runs at a median of 23.24 and claimed 122 wickets at 31.20. He captained England 31 occasions, profitable 12 of these matches.

Illingworth went on to grow to be was the chairman of selectors for England between 1994 and 1996, and coached the workforce in 1995-96.

Born in Pudsey, Yorkshire, in 1932, his cricketing skills had been obvious early when he averaged greater than 100 with the bat for his faculty and confirmed proficiency as a medium-pace bowler, later adopting spin. Both deliveries noticed him take many wickets for few runs.


He was additionally a gifted footballer and had alternatives to play at two native golf equipment, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City. But it was his talents with a small, arduous crimson ball for Farsley within the Yorkshire League that shortly introduced him to the eye of Yorkshire county coaches. He excelled for Yorkshire’s seconds and made his debut for the primary XI shortly after his nineteenth birthday.

Illingworth grew in stature, quickly coming to the fore in a gifted Yorkshire aspect who received seven county championships in 10 years – for 3 of which he was captain – between 1959 and 1968.

Despite on-field success, when Illingworth sought a three-year contract he was bluntly advised to “bugger off”. His providers had been quickly secured by Leicestershire, who appointed him captain. Shortly after, an damage to Colin Cowdrey, the England captain, noticed Illingworth appointed in his place.

He would later return to Yorkshire, initially as workforce supervisor, although he additionally managed to make a taking part in comeback on the age of fifty in 1982. The interval was marred by controversies surrounding Geoffrey Boycott, whom Illingworth sacked as captain. Boycott’s supporters would actual revenge by profitable management of the Yorkshire committee – a end result which introduced the tip of Illingworth’s Yorkshire profession.


Eventually his first-class profession spanned 32 years from his debut in 1951 to his ultimate look in 1983.He completed with 24,134 first-class runs and 2,072 wickets and was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1960.

Ray Illingworth bowling for England against West Indies in 1973.Ray Illingworth bowling for England towards West Indies in 1973. Photograph: Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock

At his greatest he can be remembered as one of many nation’s best captains. Highlights included the away Ashes success towards Australia in 1970-71. That would have proved a becoming finale had he not been tempted again into the highlight as England’s chairman of selectors in 1994.

He joined what was basically a sinking ship and hopes had been excessive that his astute studying of the sport and simplicity of method would put issues proper.


Instead his tenure was a debacle as he clashed usually with the captain, Michael Atherton. Illingworth wrote a e-book entitled One-Man Committee in an try and air his aspect of the controversy however was then charged with bringing the sport into disrepute and fined £2,000 for feedback regarding the bowler Devon Malcolm. On enchantment the nice was rescinded.

Illingworth, who could possibly be confrontational and was by no means shy of talking his thoughts, was unable as a coach to attach with numerous England gamers.

Tom Harrison, the chief govt of the England and Wales Cricket Board, paid tribute to Illingworth on Saturday night time, saying: “It’s always incredibly sad to lose a person who has given so much to the English game, and to the sport of cricket in general.

“Ray was a superb cricketer, and his deep love, passion and knowledge for the game meant he continued to contribute long after his playing days had finished. We send our sympathy and warmest wishes to Ray’s friends and family at this difficult time.”

Ray Illingworth with the England captain Michael Atherton, with whom he clashed.Ray Illingworth with the England captain Michael Atherton, with whom he clashed. Photograph: Andy Hooper/Daily Mail/Rex/Shutterstock

Yorkshire paid tribute to “the club’s most successful modern-day captain”. The county mentioned in an announcement: “We are deeply saddened to learn that Ray Illingworth has passed away. His success at county level was matched on the international scene, enjoying a long career with England as captain.

“Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and the wider Yorkshire family who held Ray so dear to their hearts.”

Leicestershire mentioned: “Everybody at Leicestershire County Cricket Club is deeply, deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former captain Ray Illingworth. Our thoughts are with Illy’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Marylebone Cricket Club, of which Illingworth was an honorary life member, mentioned it was “deeply saddened” to be taught of his loss of life.

Farsley Cricket Club, for whom Illingworth continued to organize pitches for a few years, mentioned that “cricket has lost a great”.

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