Where are they now?: Graham Dilley

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The Independent Online
IAN BOTHAM and Bob Willis are most commonly associated with England's historic victory over Australia at Headingley in 1981. In terms of divine inspiration, however, Graham 'Picca' Dilley, was in the Eros class.

Joining Botham with England at 135 for 7 on the fourth afternoon, the Kent fast bowler swung freely to collect 22 of the next 27 runs and 56 all told as the pair thrashed 117 in 80 minutes.

Born in Dartford, he was training as a diamond-cutter in Hatton Garden when summoned for his first-class debut at 18 in 1977. Within three years he was taking the new ball in an Ashes Test at Perth. Blending pace and outswing, he went on to win 14 caps, claiming 138 victims and six five-wicket hauls. There would have been more but for the succession of neck, back and leg ailments that affected him.

He helped Worcestershire win the Championship in 1988 and 1989 then went on the rebel tour of South Africa the following winter, but appearances in subsequent seasons were fitful and he was forced to retire last September after amassing 648 first-class wickets at 26.84 runs apiece.

Now 34, he recently underwent a neck operation and lives near Worcester with his wife, Helen, and his sons, Paul and Christopher.

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