The Bradford-born Appleyard played in only nine Tests, but took 31 wickets at a superb average of 17.87 © Getty Images

The Bradford-born Appleyard played in only nine Tests, but took 31 wickets at a superb average of 17.87 © Getty Images

Bob Appleyard, the former England offspinner, has died at the age of 90, following several months of illness, his old club Yorkshire has announced.

“It is with great sadness that Bob Appleyard, the legendary #YCCC and England cricketer, has died at the age of 90,” the English county champions wrote on their official Twitter page on Tuesday (March 17).

The Bradford-born Appleyard played in only nine Tests, but took 31 wickets at a superb average of 17.87 and was regarded as one of the game’s greatest medium-pace bowlers.

He did not begin his first-class career until he was 27 and played professionally for only eight years, but took 708 wickets during that time at an average of 15.48.

His two-year Test career included an Ashes victory over Australia in 1954-55 and he was named as one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1952.

Appleyard retired in 1958 and spent two years as Yorkshire president between 2006 and 2008.

Colin Graves, the Yorkshire chairman, who is due to take up the same role with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), said he was “desperately sad” to learn of Appleyard’s death.

“Bob was tenaciously loyal to the club throughout his lifetime, and an excellent president,” said Graves. “Without doubt, he’ll be remembered as one of Yorkshire cricket’s post-war greats. He played for Yorkshire and England with distinction and gave everything to the game.

“For many years, he has been a regular at Headingley, supporting the team. He will be missed at matches this summer. I would like to pass on my deepest sympathy to Bob’s family.”