Bob Willis, who famously bowled England to a dramatic Test win against Australia in 1981, has died aged 70, his family has announced.
He retired in 1984 but went on to have a successful career as a presenter for Sky Sports and their cricket coverage. Rest In Peace Bob. "He led the England bowling attack with aggression and the sight of him charging in to bowl is entrenched in the minds of people who watched cricket in the 1970s and 80s", he added.
"Saddened to hear that Bob Willis has died". He took 325 wickets, the fourth highest in England's all-time list after James Anderson, Stuart Board and Ian Botham.
Former England fast bowler Darren Gough said Willis was "hugely admired". "Cricket has lost a dear friend". A England cricketing legend.
"Bob was a great inspiration to a lot of players, generation after generation", Gooch said.
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Willis's aggressive performance in the 1981 Ashes series against Australia, where he took eight wickets for 43 runs in the third test at Headingley, became part of cricket lore along with Botham's match-saving batting.
Previous year the European Central Bank named him in its greatest-ever Test side, hailing him as "an indefatigable and aggressive fast bowler".
- Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) December 4, 2019Waking to the sad news of the passing of the great Bob Willis.
Willis, who finished his test career with 325 wickets despite bowling with pain from 1975 after surgery on both knees, worked for the broadcaster as a cricket expert after his retirement. "An icon of the game I love, growing up as an 11-year-old watching big Bob running down the hill 8/43 at the home of cricket Headingley".
In domestic cricket, the Sunderland-born bowler started his career at Surrey, before spending 12 years at Warwickshire, finishing with 899 wickets from 308 first-class matches at an average of 24.99.