The cricket world is in mourning after news that former England allrounder David Capel has died at the age of 57.
Capel had been battling a long-term illness, with his former Northamptonshire county side confirming his passing in England on Wednesday.
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Capel had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018, with Northamptonshire confirming that he died at his home.
He made 270 First-Class appearances for Northamptonshire from 1981-1998 and became the first cricketer born in the county to play a Test for England in 77 years when he made his debut against Pakistan in July 1987.
It is with incredibly heavy hearts that we announce the death of former Northamptonshire and England great, David Capel at the age of 57.
— Northamptonshire CCC (@NorthantsCCC) September 2, 2020
He had made his ODI debut three months earlier.
Capel’s highest score was 98 not out against Pakistan in Karachi that year.
"This is hugely shocking and sad news for the English cricket family and particularly those connected with Northants," said Tom Harrison, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
"David was one of the finest all-rounders of his era."
The cricket world was quick to pay tribute to Capel after news of his tragic passing.
— TriSports Cricket (@TrisportsC) September 2, 2020
The cricketing family has lost another great man today ... David Capel ... A cricketer I really enjoyed & was always very kind with his advice to me as a young player in the 90s ... #RIPCapes
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 2, 2020
Desperately sad news this. Deepest condolences to the family. My favourite player growing up, and so proud that he came from the next village to me, our Dads worked together at Roade. Going on to represent England....what a legend! Proper Northamptonshire legend!
— Adrian Bryan (@ShadyAdy42) September 2, 2020
We’re deeply saddened to hear the news of David’s passing.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
— Lord's Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) September 2, 2020
Terrible news. He could take apart any attack on his day.
— David Lee (@DavidLe30191288) September 2, 2020
Very sad and shocking news. David was a very talented cricketer who unfairly was billed as the new Ian Botham, impossible shoes to fill. I'm sure all of English cricket will be saddened by this.
— Anthony Dent (@_toosb) September 2, 2020
So sad to hear of David Capel passing away. Played under him at Northampton when he coached. A tremendous person who wore his heart on his sleeve and gave everything. Rest In Peace Capes
— Chris Rogers (@BuckRogers55) September 2, 2020
He was hailed as "The New Ian Botham" & sadly as a result his England career suffered under the weight of that expectation.
God Rest His Soul, Always.
— John Hastings 🏳️🌈 (@JohnBoyHastings) September 2, 2020
Capel remembered as a Northamptonshire legend
“Very sad to hear my former teammate passed from a long suffering illness,” retired England star Allan Lamb said.
“David Capel was an all round person and a true gentleman both on and off the field. We are going to miss you buddy.”
Capel undoubtedly goes down as a legend of Northamptonshire after spending 32 consecutive years with the England county club as a player or coach.
The allrounder was renowned as being a tenacious competitor and famously played throughout his career with a permanently crooked finger from an old cricket injury.
Billed as the next Ian Botham, they were almost impossible boots to fill for a player who spent the bulk of his international career playing in the same era as the great West Indies side.
Capel was a mainstay in the Northamptonshire side throughout his playing days and played a key role in a strong era for the county side during the late 1980s and 1990s.
He had the honour of being the first Northamptonshire picked to play Test cricket for England in 77 years when he was picked for the match against Pakistan at Headingley in 1987.
Capel's England career ended after a controversial series defeat in 1990 that saw the Windies come under fire for time-wasting tactics.
He then spent the remainder of his career at his county side before retiring in 1998, after which point he joined the Northamptonshire coaching staff.
Capel was sacked as Northamptonshire's head coach in 2012 and also had stints with the England and Bangladesh women’s teams in the years that followed.