Ray Illingworth is best remembered for his victorious captaincy of England on their tour of Australia in 1970-71.
He had been in and out of the England side as an off-spinning all-rounder for eleven years when he left his native Yorkshire to become Leicestershire captain in 1969. When Colin Cowdrey was injured later that summer, Illingworth also assumed the England captaincy at the age of 37. He was an immediate success, leading the side to 2-0 series wins over West Indies and New Zealand that summer and remaining undefeated in the first 20 Tests he captained. He led Leicestershire to the Championship in 1975 and after a brief retirement returned to lead Yorkshire to the Sunday League title at the age of 51. He also served as England Team Manager in the 1990s.
Illingworth’s innings of 113 was a masterpiece of managing the strike. Arriving at the crease with England 189 for 6 after West Indies had posted 380 in the first innings, Illingworth joined county colleague John Hampshire in a vital partnership of 60. After Hampshire fell, Illingworth added 95 with England’s final three batsmen, only 10 runs coming from his partners’ bats.
Raymond Illingworth (1932 - )
61 Tests for England averaging 23.24 with the bat and 31.20 with the ball
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1960