Former England Test captain Ray Illingworth dies at 89

Ray Illingworth scored 1,836 Test runs at an average of 23.24 and claimed 122 wickets. (AP file)
Ray Illingworth scored 1,836 Test runs at an average of 23.24 and claimed 122 wickets. (AP file)

Illingworth played 61 Tests for England between 1958 and 1973 and captained the country 31 times



By AFP

Published: Sat 25 Dec 2021, 7:09 PM

Former England captain Ray Illingworth has died at the age of 89, his county, Yorkshire, announced on Saturday.

“We are deeply saddened to learn that Ray Illingworth has passed away,” the county wrote on its Twitter account.

He had been undergoing radiotherapy for oesophageal cancer.

Illingworth played 61 Tests for England between 1958 and 1973 and captained the country 31 times, winning 12 matches and an Ashes series in Australia in 1970-1

He was an all-rounder who scored 1,836 Test runs at an average of 23.24 and claimed 122 wickets with his offspin bowling at 31.20.

He was chairman of the England selectors between 1993 and 1996, and coached the team in 1995-96.

Illingworth’s wife, Shirley, died earlier this year after battling cancer and Illingworth had supported law changes on assisted dying.

“I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had,” he said. “She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain.”

Illingworth made his debut for his native county in 1955 and played for them until 1968 before finishing his career at Leicestershire. He captained both counties.

“Illingworth’s greatest gift as captain lay in creating the illusion that he had 14 or 15 players on the field: so expertly did he block a batsman’s favourable scoring strokes,” said specialist website, Cricinfo.


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