Ex-England skipper Bob Willis dies aged 70

Ross Houston
December 7, 2019

Former England captain and cricket pundit Bob Willis has died at the age of 70, Sky Sports has announced.

The fast bowler captained England in 18 Tests and 29 One-Day Internationals taking 325 wickets in 90 Tests from 1971 to 1984.

In a statement, Willis' family said he had died "after a long illness".

"He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly".

Willis finished his Test career with 325 wickets, which puts him fourth on the all-time list of England wicket-takers behind James Anderson, Botham and Stuart Broad.

128 - Only Botham (148) has more Test wickets for England against Australia than Willis (128).

Willis' most famous moment as a player came in the 1981 Ashes series as he took eight wickets to help give England a remarkable win in the third test at Headingley.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement: "The ECB is deeply saddened to say farewell to Bob Willis, a legend of English cricket, at the age of 70".

"We are extremely sad to hear of Bob's death and I would like to extend deep condolences to his family on behalf of the ICC", Sawhney said.

- Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) December 4, 2019Incredibly sad to hear the news about Bob Willis. "One of our greatest fast bowlers", former England footballer Gary Lineker said. "In later years as a broadcaster, Bob was a perceptive and respected voice at the microphone".

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said: "I wasn't fortunate enough to see him bowl but loved his sense of humour and insights on the game". RIP #BobWillis Thoughts with Lauren and the family. "Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bob Willis".

Ex-England fast bowler Darren Gough said on TalkSport: "As a player he had a big heart, he'd run in, almost 6ft 6ins, and hit the pitch hard". Bob Willis, great fast bowler, opponent, team mate, room mate, and wonderful bloke has passed away.

Willis played for Surrey in his first two years of professional cricket and spent the rest of his career playing for Warwickshire.

In domestic cricket, the Sunderland-born bowler started his career at Surrey, before spending 12 years at Warwickshire, finishing with 899 wickets from 308 first-class matches at an average of 24.99.

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