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Former England captain Ray Illingworth passes away at age of 89

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Ray Illingworth picked 122 wickets in 61 Test matches for England


Former England captain Ray Illingworth passes away at age of 89

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SportsCafe Desk


Former England cricketer Ray Illingworth passed away after a long battle with esophageal cancer at the age of 89. Illingworth made Test debut in 1958 against New Zealand and picked 122 wickets at 31.20 plus 1836 runs with an average of 23.24 in 61 Test matches and has four wickets from three ODIs.

Former England captain Ray Illingworth has died at the age of 89 after a long battle with esophageal cancer. His professional career lasted for a long span of 32 years since his debut for Yorkshire in 1951. He represented two clubs, Leicestershire and Yorkshire in his career. 

The offspin all-rounder has represented England in 61 Tests between 1958 to 1973. Tour of Australia in 1970-71 was one of the memorable tours in his career as he led his side to a 2-0 series win. Also the tour included the first ODI in January 1971. 

He was the chairman of England selectors between 1993 and 1996 and also coached the team in 1995-96. 

"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

Illingworth has 1,836 runs at 23.24 and 122 wickets at 31.20 in 61 Tests to his name. He also has 24,134 first-class runs and 2,072 wickets and has led Yorkshire to three title wins from 1966 to 1968. 

ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison has said that Illingworth was a superb cricketer and contributed to the sport very much. 

"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,” he stated.

"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."

Illingworth’s wife Shirley died earlier this year after battling the same disease. He called for assisted dying to be legalised in the UK.

"I don't want to have the last 12 months that my wife had," Illingworth told the Telegraph. "She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain. I don't want that. I would rather go peacefully. I believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months and I don't see the point of living like that, to be honest."  he had said in an interview last month. 

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