Dennis Lillee AM, MBE

Dennis Keith Lillee is a former Australian cricketer, described as the most outstanding fast bowler of his generation. Lillee made his first-class debut for Western Australia in 1969-70, at the age of twenty. The following season, he made his Test debut in the Sixth Test at Adelaide in the 1970-71 Ashes series, taking 5/84 from 28.3 eight-ball overs. In the Ashes tour of England in 1972, he was the outstanding bowler on either team, taking 31 wickets at an average of 17.67. This earned him selection as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year for 1973.Following a period of recuperation from stress fracture he returned to Test cricket for the Ashes series of 1974 and was paired with New South Wales fast bowler Jeff Thomson to form one of the most effective opening bowling combinations in Test cricket. He was announced as one of the WSC players in May 1977. In nine “Supertests” during 1978–79, Lillee captured 46 wickets at 22.5 average. Against New Zealand and India in 1980–81, Lillee took 37 wickets in six Tests and was the leading bowler in the World Series Cup for the second successive season.

Armed with a copybook action, Lillee broke Lance Gibbs’ world record of 309 Test wickets and finished with 355 dismissals from just 70 matches to underline his status as one of the all-time greats.

On 17 December 2009, Lillee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He was named in Australia’s Test Team of the Century and now has an international reputation as a fast bowling coach.