Graham Thorpe: who is ex-England cricketer taken ill, who is his wife, career highs - Ben Stokes comments

Ben Stokes pays tribute to former England batter Graham Thorpe who has been taken seriously ill in hospital

England’s new captain Ben Stokes paid tribute to the late Shane Warne and the former England and Surrey cricketer Graham Thorpe who is currently ‘seriously ill’ in Hospital.

As England’s cricket summer opens up today, Thursday 2 June, with a Lord’s Test against New Zealand, Stokes wore a shirt with Thorpe’s name and capped number 564 on the back at the toss.

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The all-rounder said: “We’re supporting him, his wife, kids and all his family and friends through this tough time.”

Thorpe had also worked as England men’s batting coach but stepped down from his role in February following England’s disastrous 4-0 defeat in the Ashes.

It was then announced that the Ex-England batter had been appointed the head coach of the Afghanistan’s men’s team a month after.

However, a recent statement from the PCA has said: “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.”

Who is Graham Thorpe?

Thorpe was naturally a right-handed batter but reputedly changed his stance when he was just six-years-old to make it harder for his older brothers to get him out in his garden.

The 52-year-old played over 100 Tests for England  between 1993 and 2005.

He made his First Class debut for Surrey in 1988 and scored over 21,000 runs for his county in over 340 matches.

On his international debut in 1993, he scored a 114 not out against Australia at Trent Bridge. He was named Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1998 and developed into an extremely highly regarded batter.

Thorpe v West Indies, 2004. Thorpe scored over 6,700 runs for England

In his 100 Tests for his country, Thorpe scored 6,744 runs at an average of 44.66. He made 16 centuries as well as 39 half centuries.

His highest score during a Test match came against New Zealand at Christchurch in 2002. He made 200 not out off 231 balls which included a partnership with Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff of 281 runs in 51 overs.

In his 82 ODI matches, Thorpe made 2,380 runs and was a highly capable stroke-maker.

After suffering from marital difficulties, which were well documented by the papers, Thorpe decided to withdraw from one-day games and eventually pulled out of the Australian Tour in 2002.

When he came back during England’s fifth Test against South Africa in 2003, the left-hander was greeted with a standing ovation and went on to score 124.

Thorpe announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2005 after the England selectors decided to choose Kevin Pietersen instead of him for the first Test match of the Ashes.

The England chairman of selectors David Graveney had described the opting for Pietersen over Thorpe as “the most difficult decision that I have been party to in my time as selector.”

Graham Thorpe: post-England

The left-hander lasted two more months with his County before announcing his retirement from domestic cricket too.

His first stint as coach came later that year for New South Wales as their batting coach. He was then named as the region’s assistant coach when Matthew Mott was promoted to the position of coach.

Thorpe did some work with BBC Radio 5’s Test Match Special programme during England’s tour of India in 2007 and then also appeared on Sky Sports’ highlights coverage.

He wrote a monthly column for the cricket magazine SPIN World Cricket Monthly and was announced as England’s batting coach in 2010.

After 12 years in the role, Thorpe stepped down after the England Test side had a run of one win in 17 Test matches.

Who is Graham Thorpe’s wife?

Graham Thorpe is married to a woman named Amanda who he met after his divorce to his ex-wife Nicky.

Thorpe’s marital difficulties had been splashed around the tabloid newspapers and were one of the reasons for his dip in form.

His current relationship is very private and it is not unknown how the pair met or what she does for a living.

What has been said?

Along with the PCA, England Cricket have also taken to social media to wish their former star batter well: “All of our thoughts are with Graham Thorpe and his family. We’re with you, Thorpey.”

Similarly, his former County Surrey have said: “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.”

England captain Ben Stokes has said at England’s opening Test match: “Everybody is aware that Thorpey is very unwell. We all love Thorpey and he measn a hell of a lot to us.

“I’ve spoken with his wife Amanda. She’s been grateful and thankful for the respect and privacy the family have received.”