Peter Willey

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Peter Willey
Personal information
Full name Peter Willey
Born (1949-12-06) 6 December 1949 (age 68)
Sedgefield, County Durham, England
Nickname Will
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Batting Right-handed
Bowling Right arm off break
International information
National side
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
Years Team
1966–1983 Northamptonshire
1982–1985 Eastern Province
1984–1991 Leicestershire
Umpiring information
Tests umpired 25 (1996–2003)
ODIs umpired 34 (1996–2003)
FC umpired 283 (1992–present)
LA umpired 298 (1993–present)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 26 26 559 458
Runs scored 1,184 538 24,361 11,105
Batting average 26.90 23.39 30.56 28.25
100s/50s 2/5 –/5 44/101 10/67
Top score 102* 64 227 154
Balls bowled 1,091 1,031 58,635 18,520
Wickets 7 13 756 347
Bowling average 65.14 50.69 30.95 32.11
5 wickets in innings 26
10 wickets in match n/a 3 n/a
Best bowling 2/73 3/33 7/37 4/17
Catches/stumpings 3/– 4/– 235/– 124/–
Source: Cricinfo, 17 November 2008

Peter Willey (born 6 December 1949)[1] 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.[2]

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, and made his England debut in a ODI against New Zealand on 14 June 2015, taking a wicket with his 2nd ball.


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.[1]

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.[1] He scored two hundreds against the West Indies, although his overall Test batting average ended at under 27.[1]


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,[3] Johnston's co-commentator, Henry Blofeld, recalled the incident as having taken place at The Oval in 1976.[4]

In 1979, Willey caught Dennis Lillee off the bowling of Graham Dilley, resulting in a scorecard entry of: "Lillee, c. Willey, b. Dilley".[5][6]

International awards[edit]

One Day International Cricket[edit]

Man of the Match awards[edit]

# Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 West Indies Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 28 November 1979 58* (67 balls, 3x4) ; 8-0-29-0  England won by 2 runs.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Bateman, Colin (1993). If The Cap Fits. Tony Williams Publications. p. 187. ISBN 1-869833-21-X. 
  2. ^ Archived 28 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Wisden archive
  4. ^ Test Match Special The comment is also attributed to Richie Benaud in a Television commentary in 1980
  5. ^ Cricket Archive – match scorecard. Retrieved on 5 September 2009.
  6. ^ Cricket's Greatest Wonders & Blunders on YouTube
  7. ^ "1979-1980 Benson & Hedges World Series Cup - 2nd Match - England v West Indies - Sydney". Howstat. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 

External links[edit]