Ray Illingworth will ring the bell to signal five minutes before the start of play on Day One of the England v Australia Specsavers Test Match at Lord’s.
Illingworth, who won the Ashes as England captain in the epic seven-match series of 1970-71 and retained them at home in 1972, is an Honorary Life Member of MCC and will have the honour of ringing the bell, situated outside the Bowlers’ Bar in the Pavilion at the Home of Cricket.
Born in Pudsey, he made his first-class debut for Yorkshire 68 years ago, and went on to make more than 24,000 runs and take over 2,000 wickets in a career spanning an astonishing 33 seasons.
He captained England in nine Test series, winning six of them. During the tour of Australia in 1970-71, he also captained England in their first ever One-Day International.
His 61 Tests included performances which gained him a spot on both the batting and bowling Honours Boards at Lord’s, with 6 for 29 against India in 1967 followed by 113 against West Indies two years later. He was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1960.
He stayed in the game following his retirement from playing and was later chairman of selectors, and England coach.
The Five-Minute Bell
The ringing of the five-minute bell at a Lord’s Test by an international cricketer, administrator or well-known enthusiast of the sport is a recent tradition introduced in 2007.
The bell is rung to signify the imminent start of play, and it has become a great honour to be invited to ring it on the morning of a Test match.