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.
Illingworth, who represented Yorkshire and Leicestershire with great distinction, enjoyed a 15-year international career (1958-73), making 61 appearances for his country. Domestically, his first-class career spanned a remarkable 32 years, debuting in 1951 and hanging up his boots in 1983.
He was one of a select group of players to record 1,000 Test runs and 100 Test wickets, finishing with a batting average of 23.24 from 1,836 runs and 122 wickets at an average of 31. He also captained England 31 times including on the victorious Ashes tour of Australia in 1970-71.
His record in the county game and his longevity demonstrated him to be an elite performer at domestic level. His first-class career eventually closed with a final haul of 24,134 runs and 2,072 wickets. He led Yorkshire to three successive County Championship victories from 1966 to 1968.
He was also named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1960.
When his playing career finished, Illingworth’s knowledge and insight saw him become a successful media pundit. In the 1990s, he served for three years as chairman of England Men’s chair of selectors, and was England Men’s coach from 1995-96. He was president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 2010-11.
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.”