|Full name||Peter Willey|
6 December 1949 |
Sedgefield, County Durham, England
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Bowling style||Right arm off break|
|Test debut (cap 468)||22 July 1976 v West Indies|
|Last Test||29 July 1986 v New Zealand|
|ODI debut (cap 39)||2 June 1977 v Australia|
|Last ODI||31 March 1986 v West Indies|
|Domestic team information|
|Tests umpired||25 (1996–2003)|
|ODIs umpired||34 (1996–2003)|
|FC umpired||283 (1992–present)|
|LA umpired||298 (1993–present)|
|Source: Cricinfo, 17 November 2008|
Peter Willey (born 6 December 1949, Sedgefield, County Durham) is a former English cricketer, who played as a right-handed batsman and right-arm offbreak bowler. In and out of the England team, he interrupted his international career for three years by taking part in the first of the England players' South African rebel tours in 1982. After his playing career ended, he became a Test umpire. Although widely respected, he got tired of the constant travelling, and decided to leave the international panel to spend more time with his family. However, as of the 2011 season he remains an umpire on the English first class list. His son David Willey has gone on to be a professional cricketer, making a half century on his debut for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club against Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
As his career developed, Willey became a leading exponent of the "open stance" style of batting, where the batsman looks squarely at the bowler, rather than the traditional "side-on" style, looking past his own shoulder at the bowler. Advocates of the MCC Coaching manual derided the stance for its "ugliness", and asserted technical reasons why its exponents were doomed to fail, but Willey persisted with the method and was generally successful.
Known for his intimidating, mean and moody image, he was constantly picked against the formidable West Indian pace attack, only to be dropped again for games against more gentle opposition. He scored two hundreds against the West Indies, although his overall Test batting average ended at under 27.
According to an urban myth, it was during a Test match between the West Indies and England when Michael Holding was about to bowl to Willey, that the radio commentator Brian Johnston said: "The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey". While Wisden stated that there is no record of Johnston or anyone else actually saying this, Johnston's co-commentator, Henry Blofeld, recalled the incident as having taken place at The Oval in 1976.
- Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 187. ISBN 1-869833-21-X.
- Wisden archive
- Test Match Special The comment is also attributed to Richie Benaud in a Television commentary in 1980
- Cricket Archive – match scorecard. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.
- Cricket's Greatest Wonders & Blunders