|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Games||Mobile|
Full name Robert George Dylan Willis
Born May 30, 1949, Sunderland, Co Durham
Current age 63 years 358 days
Major teams England, Northern Transvaal, Surrey, Warwickshire
Also known as birth registered as Robert George Willis
Nickname Goose, Dylan, Harold, Swordfish
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Height 6 ft 6 in
Education Royal Grammar School, Guildford
|Test debut||Australia v England at Sydney, Jan 9-14, 1971 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v West Indies at Leeds, Jul 12-16, 1984 scorecard|
|ODI debut||England v West Indies at Leeds, Sep 5, 1973 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 4, 1984 scorecard|
|List A span||1969-1984|
A case could be made that Bob Willis was the most courageous fast bowler who ever played for England. After operations on both knees in 1975, when he was 26, he seldom bowled without pain, and at one stage had to run five miles a day to build the strength to play at all. Yet through sheer willpower he sustained his career for nine more years, and emerged with 325 wickets from his 90 Tests. Fitting as it was the last game of any consequence he played should have been for England, it was cruel that the 1984 West Indian assault that proved his time had come took place at Headingley, scene of the his greatest triumph, the famous 8 for 43 that beat Australia in the Botham Test three years before.
Willis, a bony 6ft 6ins with sharp knees and elbows and a cascade of curly brownish-auburn hair, was a rarity among international sportsmen: no athlete in the accepted sense, his only aptitude was bowling, and that mainly through aggression and determination. But Frank Tyson was England's only postwar bowler who was clearly faster; and none, not even Fred Trueman, was a more intimidating sight than Willis as he charged dead straight down his 30-yard approach.
On retirement he moved into the media, and for many years formed a strong partnership with Ian Botham for Sky Sports, and although his laconic style did not suit all, a sharp and humourous individual hid just under the surface. He found himself sidelined from front-line commentary duties in 2006, but he remained part of the team.
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1978
Sreesanth wasn't the most likeable team-mate or opponent, but he had skill beyond doubt, which we might have seen the last of
Even at the height of his success with the national side, Sreesanth was a lonely cricketer who felt hard done by
Plays of the day from the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai
Out of the shattered lives of three young men caught up in allegations of fraud, newer and stronger players must emerge
Mumbai Indians still have a better head-to-head record against Chennai Super Kings, but once again on the big occasion, they came second
None of the other three England bowlers with 300 Test wickets - or many other of the game's finest swing merchants - could have bowled better than James Anderson at Lord's
Royal Challengers began the season in full steam, but failed to replicate their consistency away from home
The eight-over dash between Bangalore and Chennai was as close as cricket played on the field can get to cricket played on smartphone apps
Safe & simple online money transfer. Apply Now!
Available now at Cricshop