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Graham Thorpe: Ex-England cricketer and coach ‘seriously ill’ in hospital

BREAKING NEWS: Ex-England cricketer and coach Graham Thorpe is seriously ill in hospital, with the 52-year-old’s family saying his prognosis is ‘unclear at this stage’ as he receives treatment

  • Former England cricket star Graham Thorpe’s condition is serious, say reports
  • Ex-batsman and coach is in hospital receiving treatment for undisclosed illness
  • PCA released a short statement announcing the troubling news on Tuesday
  • Thorpe recently took the job of Afghanistan head coach following England exit 

Former England batter and assistant coach Graham Thorpe is ‘seriously ill’ in hospital, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has revealed.

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 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.’

The statement has shocked English cricket – with former Surrey left-hander Thorpe renowned as one of the finest English players of his generation, 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 

Thorpe (left) left his role as England's assistant coach after the abject Ashes series

Thorpe (left) left his role as England’s assistant coach after the abject Ashes series 

England drew the match to avoid a series whitewash. Thorpe lost his assistant coach position in early February as part of Andrew Strauss’ post-Ashes clear-out but will succeed Lance Klusener, whose contract with the Afghan board expired at the end of 2021.

Thorpe left his role at the end of the Ashes but signalled his intention to remain in the international arena by taking the Afghanistan job in March. 

His position as England assistant coach looked untenable after the conclusion of the Ashes, when police were called to the team hotel in Hobart because he was smoking a cigar inside the premises during a drinking session that lasted until 6am. 

The ECB were furious that Thorpe had chosen to film the incident, which took place eight hours after the end of the fifth and final Test at Hobart. 

Thorpe had recently taken over as Afghanistan head coach following his England departure

Thorpe had recently taken over as Afghanistan head coach following his England departure

England head coach Chris Silverwood (left) was dismissed along with Thorpe

England head coach Chris Silverwood (left) was dismissed along with Thorpe 

Footage showed Root, Anderson and three Australian players — Nathan Lyon, Alex Carey and Travis Head — being told to move from the terrace of the hotel the two teams had been sharing. 

The ECB launched an investigation in January after footage taken by Thorpe of Tasmanian police telling five Ashes stars — including Joe Root and Jimmy Anderson — to go to bed following a complaint about ‘intoxicated people’ ended up on the Sydney Morning Herald website. 

It was an unfortunate ending to Thorpe’s role in the England coaching set-up and he is held in enormously high regard among players and fans. 

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.’