He was like a big brother - Ian Botham's heartfelt tribute to Bob Willis

Bob Willis' death at the age of 70 has led to tributes from across the sport of cricket, with Ian Botham joining the long list.

Ian Botham (L) has hailed Bob Willis as a great cricketer and an amazing person.

Ian Botham has paid tribute to former England team-mate Bob Willis after his death, describing him as "like a big brother". Willis' passing at the age of 70 was announced by his family on Wednesday following a short illness.

He took 325 wickets at an average of 25.20 in a 90-match, 13-year Test career and was one of England's greatest fast bowlers. Botham spoke affectionately of Willis as a man and in glowing terms of his cricketing prowess. 

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"He was a guy who, whenever I had problems in the cricketing world or in my personal life, was always there to help me," England legend Botham, who continued to work alongside Willis as a pundit, told Sky Sports.

"He was like a big brother. We had some amazing times together around the world. There are certain friendships you have in your life but very few as close as it was with Bob.

"An amazing guy, great cricketer, very under-estimated by a lot of people for many years, then when you look at his record your realise, 'Hey, hang on a minute - this guy was good'. He was the best quick bowler that I played with representing England, because he was quick."