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Former England batter and assistant coach Graham Thorpe is ‘seriously ill’ in hospital, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has revealed.
The PCA released a statement at the request of Thorpe’s family, which read: ‘Graham Thorpe has recently fallen seriously ill and is currently in hospital receiving treatment.
‘His prognosis is unclear at this stage and we ask for privacy for him and his family at this time. Our thoughts are with Graham and his family.’
Thorpe, 52, had accepted the job of Afghanistan head coach following his departure from the England set-up after this winter’s Ashes – and was due to lead them in Zimbabwe next month.
The statement has shocked English cricket – with former Surrey left-hander Thorpe renowned as one of the finest English players of his generation. He played exactly 100 Tests and scoring 16 centuries before retiring in 2005.
He went on to begin a coaching career in Australia, where he worked with the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner at New South Wales, before joining the England and Wales Cricket Board as a batting coach.
He worked as assistant with the senior side under Trevor Bayliss and Chris Silverwood, stepping up to lead the team in this winter’s Sydney Test against Australia due to Silverwood’s coronavirus diagnosis.
Graham Thorpe is seriously ill in hospital and the prognosis is currently unclear
The official England Twitter account send out a message of support for Thorpe
Thorpe (left) left his role as England’s assistant coach after the disappointing Ashes series
Thorpe’s former side Surrey also sent their well-wishes to the legendary batsman
Thorpe, pictured here alongside Nasser Hussain (right) after winning against Pakistan in 2000, is regarded as one of the best batsmen of his generation
England drew the match to avoid a series whitewash but Thorpe lost his assistant coach position in early February as part of Andrew Strauss’ post-Ashes clear-out but was set to succeed Lance Klusener, whose contract with the Afghan board expired at the end of 2021.
He signalled his intention to remain in the international arena by taking the Afghanistan job the following month.
His position as England assistant coach looked untenable after the conclusion of the Ashes, when police were called to the team hotel in Hobart while he was smoking a cigar during a rooftop drinking session inside the premises that lasted until 6am.
It was an unfortunate ending to Thorpe’s role in the England coaching set-up and he is still held in enormously high regard among players and fans.
THORPE’S ENGLAND STATS:
Matches – 100
Innings – 179
Runs – 6744
High score – 200 (not out)
Average – 44.7
100s – 16
50s – 39
ONE DAY INTERNATIONALS:
Matches – 82
Innings – 77
Runs – 2380
High score – 89
Average – 37
100s – 0
50s – 31
Thorpe had recently taken over as Afghanistan head coach following his England departure
As news emerged of Thorpe’s serious condition, well-wishes flooded in from the cricketing world.
England’s official cricket account tweeted: ‘All of our thoughts are with Graham Thorpe and his family. We’re with you, Thorpey.’
Surrey sent their thoughts to a ‘favourite son’ of the club, writing on Twitter: ‘The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Graham, his wife Amanda, and family at this time.
‘He is an icon of the English game, known by millions of cricket fans and forever a favourite son of Surrey CCC.’
The left-hander, pictured here in a game against the West Indies in 2004, was a key man in the England Test side for years as a talented batsman
England head coach Chris Silverwood (left) was dismissed along with Thorpe
Thorpe, celebrating with Andrew Strauss (left) after England’s win over South Africa in 2004, is in a serious condition with fans awaiting more news of his health
Piers Morgan added: ‘Oh no… awful news… wishing Thorpey all the best.’
One fan wrote: ‘Get well soon Graham, my all time fav player’. Another posted: ‘Sending positive thoughts for Graham Thorpe, one of my favourite batsmen to watch in any era.’
‘Thoughts go out to Graham Thorpe and his family after the news this morning he as recently fallen seriously ill.’
Thorpe’s exit as England assistant came after the aforementioned incident in Hobart and the ECB were furious that Thorpe had chosen to film the incident, which took place on a rooftop eight hours after the end of the fifth and final Test at Hobart.
Footage showed Root, Anderson and three Australian players — Nathan Lyon, Alex Carey and Travis Head — being told by police to move from the terrace of the hotel the two teams had been sharing.
Thorpe led the team in the Ashes when Chris Silverwood went down with coronavirus
The coach imparted wisdom to Root (right) and Co during his time in the international set-up
The ECB launched an investigation in January after footage taken by Thorpe of Tasmanian police telling five Ashes stars to go to bed following a complaint about ‘intoxicated people’ ended up on the Sydney Morning Herald website.
During his playing career, Thorpe averaged an impressive 44.7 runs in Test matches and notched 16 centuries for his country.
His highest score was 200 not out and the talented batsmen also played 77 One Day Internationals.
Thorpe racked up more than 2000 runs in the shorter format of the game and his intelligence and leadership allowed a smooth transition into coaching when he retired from playing in 2006.
The batsman was a stalwart for many years in both formats of the game for England