London, Dec 25 (IANS) Former England captain and head coach Ray Illingworth passed away on Saturday. He was 89.
Illingworth, who led England to an away Test series victory over Australia in 1970-71, had been undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer.
The all-rounder played 61 Tests for England between 1958-1973, scoring 1,836 Test runs at an average of 23.24 and claiming 122 wickets at 31.20. He captained England 31 times, winning 12 of those matches.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) condoled the demise of Illingworth.
“The England and Wales Cricket Board is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Illingworth CBE, the former England captain, head coach, and chair of selectors, who has died at the age of 89,” the ECB said in a statement.
ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said: “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.”
The cricketer also guided Yorkshire to three successive County Championship titles from 1966 to 1968.
“We are deeply saddened to learn that Ray Illingworth has passed away. Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and the wider Yorkshire family who held Ray so dear to their hearts,” wrote Yorkshire County Cricket Club on Twitter.
Born in Pudsey — between Leeds and Bradford — on June 8, 1932, Illingworth played for Yorkshire during one of their most successful periods, winning seven county championships in nine years from 1959. Domestically, his first-class career spanned a remarkable 32 years, debuting in 1951 and hanging up his boots in 1983.
In 787 first-class games, Illingworth scored 24,134 runs at an average of 28.06 and took 2,072 wickets at 20.27.
Illingworth moved into television commentary before taking over as England’s chairman of selectors in 1993. He also served as England men’s coach from 1995-96.