Bob Willis: Former England captain dies aged 70

Written by on December 4, 2019

Bob Willis
            </figure><p class="sp-story-body__introduction">Former England captain Bob Willis has died at the age of 70.</p>

The fast bowler took 325 wickets in 90 Tests from 1971 to 1984, claiming a career-best 8-43 to help England to a famous win over Australia at Headingley in the 1981 Ashes.

He captained England in 18 Tests and 29 one-day internationals before his retirement from all cricket in 1984.

Willis subsequently worked as a summariser on BBC TV before joining Sky Sports as a commentator in 1991.

He continued to work for Sky and was part of their coverage of this summer’s Ashes series.

Willis represented Surrey for the first two years of his professional career before spending 12 years at Warwickshire, finishing with 899 wickets from 308 first-class matches at an average of 24.99.

The Sunderland-born bowler made his international debut aged 21 in the 1971 Ashes after being called up to replace the injured Alan Ward and played the final four Tests of the seven-match series as England won 2-0.

Despite needing surgery on both knees in 1975, he became one of the finest fast bowlers of his generation, playing another nine years and claiming his 325 wickets at an impressive average of 25.20.

At the time of Willis’ retirement, only Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee had taken more Test wickets.

James Anderson (575), Stuart Broad (471) and Ian Botham (383) are the only England bowlers to have since surpassed Willis’ tally.

Bob Willis career record
Matches Wickets Average Best
Tests 90 325 25.20 8-43
ODIs 64 80 24.60 4-11
First-class 308 899 24.99 8-32
List A 293 421 20.18 7-32

More to follow.

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