Cricket-Former England skipper Illingworth battling cancer


FILE PHOTO: Former cricketer Ray Illingworth (L) stands with former umpire Harold "Dickie" Bird during a lunchtime presentation during the second cricket test match between England and South Africa at Headingley cricket ground in Leeds August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Philip Brown

(Reuters) - Former England skipper Ray Illingworth, who famously captained the team to an Ashes triumph in Australia in 1970–71, has said he is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.

A combative Yorkshireman who captained England in 31 test matches between 1958 and 1973 and played in the first ever one-day international in 1971, Illingworth also had spells as an administrator and the coach of the national team.

The 89-year-old, whose wife Shirley died in March after her own fight with cancer, said he was hopeful of a full recovery.

"They got rid of a lot of the tumour but there were still two centimetres left, originally it was eight," Illingworth told the Daily Telegraph in an interview https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2021/11/29/exclusive-ray-illingworth-reveals-fighting-cancer-wants-right.

"They're just hoping to get rid of the last bit with extra double doses (of radiotherapy). I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck.

"I don't want to have the last 12 months that my wife had. She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain. I don't want that."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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