Mesmerising painting honouring Bob Willis inspiration behind new trophy for counties
Cubist-inspired work by late England great's widow to be turned into trophy
All 18 county teams will compete for the Bob Willis Trophy this summer, an honour that would have made the late England great "unbelievably stunned and proud" according to his widow Lauren Clark.
Willis was one of the best fast bowlers of his generation. The former England captain and commentator passed away in December at the age of 70.
The winners of this year's red-ball competition will receive a piece of silverware based on a painting by Willis' wife.
Her cubist-inspired work is now being turned into a trophy by jeweller Edward Asprey and will be awarded to the winning captain at the end of the first-class season.
"Bob would have been unbelievably stunned and proud of it, and by the reaction of people since his death," Lauren was quoted as saying by the Press Association.
"He would have loved to see this but he wouldn't have allowed it to make him big-headed. He'd have been proud of me for pushing his name out there too...he never did that himself but I'm not letting him go.
"He would have loved to see my art represented on the trophy and also of the competition itself. Only a couple of years ago he spent ages working on spreadsheets trying to work out how to make the summer season work better.
"He was a real advocate for change in the county championship for so many years and now, in the first year after his death, it has had to be changed for such strange reasons."
Reigning Division One champions Essex begin the south group at home to Kent on August 1, while Middlesex and Surrey open against one another at the Kia Oval.
Former England captain Bob Willis no more
Updated: July 24, 2020 12:44 PM