Ray Illingworth

Country: England
Born: June 08, 1932, Pudsey, Yorkshire
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Offbreak
Playing role: Bowling Allrounder
Died: December 25, 2021 (aged 89y 200d)

Ray Illingworth Bio

Raymond Illingworth, widely known as Ray Illingworth, is a prominent former English cricketer who made a significant impact both on and off the field. Born on June 8, 1932, in Pudsey, Yorkshire, Illingworth developed a deep passion for cricket from an early age. Throughout his illustrious career, he showcased exceptional skills as a captain, all-rounder, and strategist, becoming a celebrated figure in the world of cricket.

Illingworth’s rise to prominence began when he made his debut for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1951, at the age of 19. Standing at a sturdy height of just under 6ft and possessing a robust build, he quickly established himself as a highly capable all-rounder. His primary batting position was No. 6 or 7, where he displayed an orthodox technique and unwavering determination to protect his wicket. However, his cautious approach sometimes resulted in a large number of not-out innings, occasionally to the detriment of his team’s overall performance.

One of Illingworth’s greatest strengths as a captain was his ability to create the illusion of having more players on the field. His strategic skills, combined with his offspin bowling, made it incredibly challenging for opposing batsmen to find scoring opportunities. Throughout his Test career, spanning 61 matches, Illingworth maintained an impressive bowling economy rate of 1.91 runs per over, showcasing his exceptional accuracy and ability to contain runs. His proficiency with both bat and ball played a vital role in several of England’s triumphs during his tenure.

Illingworth’s crowning achievement as captain came in the 1970-71 Ashes series, where he led England to a historic victory in Australia, ending their 15-year winless streak Down Under. This triumph solidified his reputation as a brilliant strategist and leader. However, it was during his three-year stint as chairman of selectors from 1994 to 1997 that his reputation faced some tarnish. Illingworth’s steadfast insistence on handpicking players of his choosing was seen by some as an assertive display of independence. Yet, when he denied his successors the same autonomy, it revealed a hint of pig-headedness, undermining his previous image of strength and determination.

Perhaps the most controversial decision made by Illingworth as chairman of selectors was his refusal to allow captain Mike Atherton to have Alec Stewart keep wicket during the 1996 World Cup, favoring Jack Russell instead. This decision was met with widespread criticism, damaging Illingworth’s reputation and public esteem. Despite this setback, Illingworth remained one of the most esteemed and respected figures in English cricket, fondly remembered for his droll sense of humor and his vast wealth of cricketing stories.

After retiring from professional cricket, Ray Illingworth continued to contribute to the sport in various capacities, including coaching and commentary. His immense knowledge and profound understanding of the game have earned him a rightful place among the cricketing greats of his time. Illingworth’s legacy extends far beyond his personal achievements as a player, encompassing his influential leadership, his tactical brilliance, and the lasting impact on English cricket. Even though controversy may have marred his later administrative career, his undeniable contributions to the sport will forever be remembered and revered by cricket enthusiasts worldwide.

Ray Illingworth Career Stats

Ray Illingworth Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 61 90 11 1836 113 23.24 - - 2 5 - 3 45 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 3 2 0 5 4 2.5 18 27.77 0 0 0 0 1 0
FC 787 1073 213 24134 162 28.06 - - 22 105 - - 446 0
List A 218 144 55 2380 79 26.74 - - 0 4 - - 58 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ray Illingworth Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 61 100 11934 3807 122 6/29 7/29 31.2 1.91 97.8 5 3 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs 3 2 130 84 4 3/50 3/50 21 3.87 32.5 0 0 0
FC 787 - 117860 42020 2072 9/42 - 20.27 2.13 56.8 - 104 11
List A 218 - 8097 4686 186 5/20 5/20 25.19 3.47 43.5 3 3 0
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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