England Cricketers Lead Tributes To Ashes Hero Graham Dilley, Dead At 52

Huffington Post UK     First Posted: 5/10/2011 18:49   Updated: 5/12/2011 10:12

Current and former England cricketers have led the tributes to 1981 Ashes hero Graham Dilley who has died after a battle with cancer.

Dilley played in 41 Test matches, taking 138 wickets at an average of 29.78. He also played in 38 one-day internationals, and helped Worcestershire to consecutive county championships in 1988 and 1989.

At his best Dilley was known as a deadly pace bowler, who generated an unusual amount of outswing.

He was also a useful lower-order batsman, as he proved in the 1981 Ashes test at Headingley in which his 56 runs scored from just 75 balls in a partnership with Ian Botham helped to turn around what some had given up as a lost cause.

"The game was over and we'd lost, time to pack your bags and go home," Dilley said in an interview with the Birmingham Post earlier this year. "Skipper Mike Brearley gave me no instructions so I asked Ian what we should do. The pitch was very difficult and he said that we wouldn't survive long just blocking, so we might as well have a swing if the ball was in the right area."

England went on to win the match, and the series.

After retirement Dilley became a respected bowling coach, who helped many future England players to reach their potential.

As news of Dilley's death was announced former and current stars were among those leading the tributes.

Take a look at the gallery below for some of those messages.

Kevin Pietersen, England Cricketer
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