Why were England wearing black armbands on first day of Boxing Day Ashes test?

England's woes continued on the cricket pitch on Boxing Day as Australia once again finished the day in a commanding position.

The Australians are already 2-0 up in the series and are looking to wrap up the Ashes with games to spare on the famous Boxing Day Test.

Fans may have noticed that England were wearing black armbands during the match, and it was to pay tribute to former England captain Ray Illingworth, who died aged 89, Yorkshire CCC announced on Christmas Day.

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Illingworth, who led England to a 2-0 Ashes series victory in Australia in 1970-71, had been undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer.

England's cricketers wore black armbands to mark Ray Illingworth's deathEngland's cricketers wore black armbands to mark Ray Illingworth's death
England's cricketers wore black armbands to mark Ray Illingworth's death

Illingworth, who enjoyed a hugely successful domestic career with Yorkshire and Leicestershire, played 61 Tests for England between 1958 and 1973, scoring 1,836 runs at an average of 23.24 and claiming 122 wickets at 31.20.

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He also served as chairman of selectors for England between 1993 and 1996 and coached the national team in 1995-96.

He wouldn't have been happy with what he saw as once again England's batting collapsed, posting just 185 after being put in to bat first. In contrast, Australia finished the day on 61/1.

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Illingworth’s first-class career spanned a remarkable 32 years from his debut in 1951 to his final appearance in 1983.

He finished with a final total of 24,134 first-class runs and 2,072 wickets and was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1960.

He played for Yorkshire from 1951 to 1968, leading them to three successive County Championship victories in those final three years, before joining Leicestershire in 1969, remaining at Grace Road until 1978.

He returned to Yorkshire initially as team manager but made his playing comeback at the age of 50 in 1982.

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