Sky Sports News presenter Vicky Gomersall struggled to hold back tears live on air after the announcement that former colleague Bob Willis had died aged 70.
It is understood Ian Botham went to see his former team-mate earlier this week, with fellow former England players John Lever and David Brown visiting on Wednesday before Willis died.
At the time of Willis's retirement, only Australia's Dennis Lillee had claimed more victims in Test cricket and he remains fourth on the all-time list of England wicket-takers after James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Botham.
"We offer our condolences to Bob's family, friends and England cricket fraternity".
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time". "One of our greatest fast bowlers", former England footballer Gary Lineker said.
"As a player he had a big heart, he'd run in, almost 6ft 6ins, and hit the pitch hard". Everybody knew who he was.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has condoled the death of Bob Willis in a tweet, saying: "The PCB is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Bob Willis".
Known for a long run up, the seamer was previous year named in England's greatest Test XI by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The pace bowler made 90 Test match appearances for his country and took 325 wickets.
"He will always be remembered for his outstanding cricket career ..." Without his bowling we had no chance of winning that game.
"Everyone at the European Central Bank sends honest condolences to his family".