Former India cricketer Kapil Dev on Thursday said that England’s fast bowling legend Bob Willis, who passed away at an age of 70, was a “terror to face”, adding that Willis was the only one to ever hit him with the ball.
“It was a very sharp ball, faster than I had imagined, and hit me on the ear. It was the only time I was struck,” Kapil told the Hindu daily.
“Willis was a terrific fast bowler, with a run-up that was unique. Not a fluent run-up but once the ball left his hand it was terror for the batsman. I never heard Willis swear at a batsman, never saw him argue with the umpire. He did not believe in talking. He wanted his ball to speak for him. A true legend he was,” he added.
In a career that spanned 90 Test matches between 1971 and 1984, Willis took 325 wickets. He was England’s all-time highest wicket-taker at the time of his retirement and only Australia’s Dennis Lillee had taken more wickets in the longest format of the game at the time.
Willis remains fourth on the England all-timers’ list, behind former teammate Ian Botham (383), Stuart Broad (471) and James Anderson (575). He also played 64 ODIs and took 80 wickets.
He was captain of England for 18 Tests and 29 ODIs before his retirement in 1984.