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Bob Willis and his withering Sky Sports Cricket takedowns will be much missed by TV viewers

Bob Willis, who has died aged 70, was and will ever be a legend of England cricket for his 325 Test wickets, eight of which came for 43 runs in that second innings at Headingley 1981.

But for cricket fans younger than, say, 45, our memories of Big Bob come either from rain-break highlights or in his later career as a television commentator and then, of course, a pundit.

Few things in British sport topped the sight of Willis in full flow as a bowler, legs and arms pumping, massive Dylanesque barnet wobbling, but Willis the pundit was one of the few equals.

On Sky Sports Cricket’s The Verdict show, Bob would deliver assessments of players and teams every bit as brutal as his genuinely rapid bowling once was.

In his later years, his role was that of the fire and brimstone preacher, dishing out ferocious tongue-lashings to cricketers, umpires and administrations alike.


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