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

Handout photo of the art work created by Bob Willis' widow Lauren Clark. The new Bob Willis Trophy for the winning county team will be based on art work by Lauren in memory of her late husband. Lauren Clark / ECB / PA
Handout photo of the art work created by Bob Willis' widow Lauren Clark. The new Bob Willis Trophy for the winning county team will be based on art work by Lauren in memory of her late husband. Lauren Clark / ECB / PA

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.

Handout photo provided by The ECB of Art work created by Bob Willis' widow Lauren Clark. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday July 23, 2020. See PA story CRICKET Willis Trophy. The new Bob Willis Trophy will be based on art work by Lauren Clark in memory of her late husband. Photo credit should read: Lauren Clark/ECB/PA Wire. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Handout photo of the art work created by Bob Willis' widow Lauren Clark. Lauren Clark / ECB / PA

"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

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