Allan Lamb mourns 'gentle giant' Graham Dilley

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
Graham Dilley
Dilley (centre) helped England win the Ashes in 1981 and 1986/87

Allan Lamb has paid tribute to his former England team-mate Graham Dilley, describing the ex-fast bowler as a "gentle giant" and a "wonderful guy".

Dilley, who played 41 Test matches and 36 one-day internationals has died at 52 after a short illness.

"He was a great fellow and a gentle giant," Lamb told BBC Sport.

"We always said he should have been a more aggressive as a bowler, a bit like Dennis Lillee. He wasn't like that, he was just a guy who bowled very quick."

Lamb played county cricket against Dilley in the 1970s before the duo became England team-mates.

They played together at the 1983 World Cup and were members of Mike Gatting's Ashes-winning side in Australia in 1986/87.

"I remember travelling in a car in the World Cup with Graham Dilley and [former England wicket-keeper] Ian Gould and having a lot of fun," Lamb recalled.

"Travelling with two very big smokers, I used to tell them the windows had to stay open or they wouldn't be getting in my car. I have really fond memories of him."

Lamb believes Dilley could have established himself as one of the finest fast bowlers of his generations if his career had not been blighted by injuries.

"He was a good bowler, but I don't think we saw the best of him," said Lamb. "I think he was just as quick as the others and he swung it but injuries shortened his career quite a lot.

"If he had been less prone to injuries and a bit more aggressive like Dennis Lillee we might have seen a bit more of him in the headlines.

"He wasn't a boisterous sort of guy, he was a quietish chap with a nice, dry, sense of humour.

"My thoughts go to his family and we are going to miss him. He was a great fellow."