Players / England / Michael Willett

Michael Willett      

Full name Michael David Willett

Born April 21, 1933, West Norwood, London

Died January 24, 2002, Sanderstead, Surrey (aged 68 years 278 days)

Major teams Surrey

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm medium

Michael David Willett
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St
First-class 172 273 45 6535 126 28.66 8 95 0
List A 8 8 2 188 46* 31.33 0 0 3 0
Bowling averages
Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
First-class 172 2779 1105 23 3/36 48.04 2.38 120.8 0 0
List A 8 255 171 5 2/20 2/20 34.20 4.02 51.0 0 0 0
Career statistics
First-class span 1955-1967
List A span 1964-1966
Profile

Wisden Obituary
Willett, Michael David, died at Sanderstead on January 24, 2002, aged 68. In another time, or another county perhaps, Mike Willett's career might have been different. But he joined the Oval staff as a teenager in 1950, with Surrey on the cusp of the roll that brought eight titles in nine years. Opportunities for apprentice batsmen were thinly scattered, and when they came Willett never converted his second-team form into first-team runs in the way that contemporaries such as Micky Stewart, Ken Barrington and John Edrich did. When at last he established himself in the early 1960s, hitting 1,000 runs three times in four seasons, a serious knee injury cruelly cut his career short. Like Stewart, he played amateur football for Corinthian Casuals, and there was something of the amateur in the way he played his cricket. His debut, in the last Championship game of 1955, was a low-scoring affair in which only he, with 25, and Jim Laker reached double figures, adding 63 of Surrey's 101: they still won by eight wickets in two days. Between then and 1960, however, he managed only 18 Championship games. And when in 1960 Fred Trueman, his RAF team-mate back in their National Service days, dismissed him for a pair while twice taking three wickets in five balls, Willett may have wondered if his immediate future lay in the family motor business rather than cricket. Then, in his first game of 1961, he hit his maiden hundred - 105 not out against Worcestershire - and the wheel turned, even if Surrey did slump to a worst-ever 15th in the Championship. In August he made 126 against Kent, and finished the summer with 1,593 first-class runs at 30.63. Though the next season produced barely more than 500, he reached his thousand again in 1963, Stewart's first year as captain; his two hundreds included an unbroken stand of 193 with Barrington against the champions, Yorkshire. In 1964 he was the ninth Englishman in the firstclass averages, making 1,789 runs at 45.87. Among his four hundreds was the fastest of the summer (80 minutes against Middlesex at The Oval), while in equalling his career-best 126, against Hampshire at Bournemouth, he struck his second fifty in 30 minutes, with 48 coming in boundaries. At Gravesend, Willett and Barrington put on 230 for the fourth wicket against Kent. But a cartilage operation in 1965 sidelined him from mid-May to late August and, while his fielding remained vibrant, he never rediscovered his batting form. Two years later he retired and concentrated his sporting energies on club cricket and golf. In 172 first-class games he had scored 6,535 runs at 28.66, including eight hundreds, held 95 catches, and taken 23 wickets at 48.04 with the medium pace that served Surrey well in Second Eleven cricket.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

Latest Photos

2002

Michael Willett

Michael Willett

© Wisden Cricket Monthly

Country Fixtures Country Results
1st ODI: Eng Women v India Women at Scarborough - Aug 21
India Women 193/8 Eng Women 44/0 (5/47 ov, target 195)
Group A: Derbyshire v Gloucs at Derby - Aug 21
Derbyshire 108/2 (24.3/50 ov)
Group A: Hampshire v Yorkshire at Southampton - Aug 21
Hampshire 132/5 (25.5/50 ov)
Group A: Lancashire v Leics at Manchester - Aug 21
Leics 103/3 (23.3/50 ov)
Group A: Northants v Essex at Northampton - Aug 21
Northants 146/3 (23.2/50 ov)
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