England players were seen sporting black armbands in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as a show of respect for former England Ashes-winning captain, Ray Illingworth, who passed away aged 89 on Saturday.
Illingworth debuted for Yorkshire back in 1951 at the age of 19. He played for over 32 years, including club appearances for Leicestershire (1969-78).
“We are deeply saddened to learn that Ray Illingworth has passed away. Our thoughts are with Ray’s family and the wider Yorkshire family who held Ray so dear to their hearts,” Yorkshire County Club wrote on their Twitter page.
England Board’s CEO pays his respects to Ray Illingworth
Illingworth led England to a 2-0 Ashes win back in 1970-71. In total, he has played 787 first-class games, scoring over 24,000 runs. In his professional career, Illingworth has taken over 2,200 wickets in total. Speaking about the legendary cricketer, ECB’s CEO, Tom Harrison said:
“It’s always incredibly sad to lose a person who has given so much to the English game, and to the sport of cricket in general. Ray was a superb cricketer, and his deep love, passion, and knowledge for the game meant he continued to contribute long after his playing days had finished. We send our sympathy and warmest wishes to Ray’s friends and family at this difficult time.”
Currently, England is trailing 0-2 in the Ashes series and the MCG Test has begun where they are batting first. At Lunch, they were 62/3, having lost their top three to Australian skipper, Pat Cummins.