Dennis Lillee MBE

Dennis Lillee MBE

Dennis Lillee was an Australian cricketer rated as the outstanding fast bowler of his generation.

He was Australia’s most consistent fast bowler during the 1970s and early 1980s, and was known for his fiery temperament, ´never-say-die´ attitude and popularity with the fans.

He was paired with fellow fast bowler Jeff Thomson – whom many consider to be the fastest bowler of all time – for the 1974-1975 home Ashes series against England, and the pair combined with devastating effect to help Australia to an emphatic 4-1 series victory.

He became the second quickest bowler ever to reach 200 Test wickets, after former Australian leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett, and in the 1980-1981 home series against India passed Richie Benaud´s record for most Test wickets for Australia.

Dennis became the then-world record holder for number of Test wickets in 1981 during one of his most famous Test performances. Late on day one of the traditional Boxing Day match in Melbourne, he ripped through the strong West Indian batting line-up, dismissing Desmond Haynes, Colin Croft, and Viv Richards, to leave them at 4 for 10 at stumps.

The next day he went on to innings figures of 7 for 83, and his dismissal of Larry Gomes saw him pass Lance Gibbs’ record of 309 Test wickets.

Throughout his Australian career he was also famous for his partnership with wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, and the scorecard entry ´caught Marsh bowled Lillee´ appeared 95 times in Tests, a partnership record between wicketkeeper and bowler that is yet to be broken.

By the time of his retirement from International cricket in 1984 he had become the then world record holder for the most test wickets and had firmly established himself as one of the most recognisable and renowned Australian sportsmen of all time.