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Peter Willey
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Peter Willey

England
Peter Willey

INTL CAREER: 1976 - 2012

Full Name

Peter Willey

Born

December 06, 1949, Sedgefield, Co Durham

Age

71y 155d

Nicknames

Will

Batting Style

Right hand bat

Bowling Style

Right arm offbreak

Height

6ft 1in

Education

Seaham Secondary School, Co Durham

relations

(son)

Other

Umpire

TEAMS

There was a time in the late seventies and early eighties when, if England were playing the West Indies at the peak of their dominance of world cricket, that Peter Willey could pack his bag ready for the call to the Test side. A hard, fearless man from the north-east, he made 15 of his 26 Test appearances against the West Indies and 13 of his 26 one-day internationals against the same opposition. The rest of his one-day internationals were against Australia, as were nine of his Tests. He did not have many easy opportunities to bolster his average.

In fairness, he wasn't quite good enough as a specialist batsman, and his bowling not penetrative enough to make him a genuine allrounder. But his courage was beyond question, and his two Test hundreds, both against West Indies, were made when others had proved less stubborn in the face of a pace battering. That he was seen as a back-against-the-wall specialist is shown by the fact that 15 of his 26 Tests and 13 of his 26 one-dayers came against West Indies in their prime - all but two of the other Tests and ODIs came against Australia. In those two Tests - against India and New Zealand - he averaged over 40. And it was an era when England struggled - he had to wait until his 19th Test (Botham's match of 1981) before he was on a winning side.

He made his county debut for Northamptonshire in 1966 at the age of 16 as a right-handed batsman and offbreak bowler. As his career developed, he adopted what might be termed a marvellously eccentric batting stance, starting with his body totally chest-on to the bowler.

His performances attracted the England selectors and in 1976 he made his Test debut against the West Indies at Headingley. The following year he made his one-day international debut against Australia and he appeared to have the makings of a long and successful international career. However, the selectors seldom gave him a run long enough to establish himself in the team and, instead, tended to use him as the scapegoat for team failings. There were always others who might have been no more successful but who perhaps looked more the part of a Test cricketer.

He moved to Leicestershire in 1984, captaining the county in 1987, and continued his playing career through to 1991, after which he played a season of Minor Counties cricket for Northumberland.

He was appointed to the first-class umpires' list in 1993 and three years later was on the international panel. It was ironic that the first Test in which he stood was West Indies v New Zealand in Bridgetown - the countries against which he appeared in his first and last Tests as a player. Generally respected as a top umpire, he declined the opportunity to go onto the ICC list of elite umpires because of the excessive time that would have taken him away from home, but his standing in the international game and his experience from the 1999 event made him an obvious choice when the elite list needed supplementing for the 2003 World Cup.
Wisden Cricinfo staff

Career Averages

Batting & Fielding
FormatMatInnsNORunsHSAveBFSR100s50s4s6sCtSt
Test265061184102*26.90279442.3725160430
ODI262415386423.3985562.920549040
FC5599181212436122730.56441012350
List A458436431110515428.2510671240
Bowling
FormatMatInnsBallsRunsWktsBBIBBMAveEconSR4w5w10w
Test2620109145672/732/7365.142.50155.80000
ODI26221031659133/333/3350.693.8379.30000
FC55958635234007567/3730.9577.50263
List A45818520111433474/174/1732.1153.30400
Umpire & Referee
FormatMatUmpireTV Umpire
Test32257
ODI503416
WTEST11
WODI1082
WT20I431
FC198198
List A27926019
T201081026
Peter Willey portrait
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Debut/Last Matches

Photos


Peter Willey and George Sharp attend their employment tribunal
Peter Willey
Peter Willey officiates
Peter Willey and George Sharp walk into the field
Peter Willey
Peter Willey is still enjoying his time as a first-class umpire