Former England captain Ray Illingworth undergoing treatment for cancer

Former England captain Ray Illingworth is currently undergoing radiotherapy treatment for oesophageal cancer. Speaking on his travails over the last one year or so, the 89-year-old said that he doesn’t wish to go through the pain his wife, Shirley, went through. Earlier this year, Illingworth’s better-half passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer.

The Yorkshire-born Illingworth, in the meantime, has asked for some changes in law regarding ‘assisted dying’. The veteran revealed how his wife had to commute between hospitals while being in a great amount of discomfort.

I don’t see the point of living like that, says Ray Illingworth

“They are just hoping to get rid of the last bit (of the tumour) with extra double doses. I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck,” Illingworth was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

“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 believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months, and I don’t see the point of living like that, to be honest,” Illingworth added.

Illingworth remains one of England’s enigmatic Test captains during his playing days. Back in 1970-71, England won the Ashes in Australia. After the first two Tests were drawn, the third match in Melbourne had to be abandoned. The Brits won the fourth and seventh Test respectively to win the series 2-0. The fifth and sixth Tests ended in a draw.

Illingworth was also impressive on the personal front as he scored 333 runs from six matches at an average of 37 with one half-century to his name. He also picked up 10 wickets at an excellent economy rate of 1.98.

Illingworth played 61 Tests and three ODIs in a 15-year-old career that lasted from 1958 to 1973. He scored 1841 runs with two tons and five fifties. Moreover, he picked up 126 wickets for the Three Lions in his career. He also notched over 26,000 runs combining first-class and List A cricket.