Former England skipper Bob Willis dies aged 70
Former England Cricket skipper Bob Willis drew his last breath at the age of 70, his family announced on Wednesday. Willis, who led the national team between 1982 and 1984, featured in 90 Test matches. Regarded as the fearsome pace bowler, his best performance came against Australia at Headingley in 1981 after he bagged eight for 43 in the third Ashes Test.
Willis ended his Test career on a high with 325 wickets. His stats also put him fourth on the all-time list of England wicket-takers behind the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ian Botham.
He had also led England in 18 Tests and 29 ODIs before calling it quits from all forms of cricket in the year 1984.
He was recruited as captain of 1982 India tour of England after Keith Fletcher was sacked. Even without key players in his side, he did his best to record seven wins, six draws and five defeats from his 18 Tests in charge before he was sacked and replaced with David Gower prior to what proved to be Bob Willis’ last Test series against West Indies in 1984.
“We are heartbroken to lose our beloved Bob, who was an incredible husband, father, brother and grandfather. He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly,” read the Willis family statement.
Star all-rounder Ian Botham labelled his team-mate as a “tremendous trier, a great team man and an inspiration – the only world-class fast bowler in my time as an England player”.