FORMER Farnham, Surrey and England batsman Graham Thorpe is “seriously ill” in hospital, according to the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA).

The 52-year-old, appointed head coach of Afghanistan’s men’s team in March, played for Wrecclesham and Farnham – like his older brothers, Ian and Alan – before signing as a professional for Surrey.

His father Geoff is also a former chairman of Farnham Cricket Club and brother Ian captained the 2nd XI for many years, with mother Toni the long-serving scorer.

Graham broke into the England team at 23 and went on to play 100 times for his country between 1993 and 2005. With a classic left-hander’s technique and an attacking instinct, he was one of the few to master Shane Warne when the late-great leg-spinner burst on the scene in the 1993 Ashes series.

Thorpe went on to score 6,744 runs for England, with 16 centuries and 39 half-centuries and a top score of 200 not out. His average of 44.66 places him amongst the very best to have played for England.

As well as his decorated test match career, he also played 82 one-day internationals.

He was previously England men’s batting coach but stepped down in February following the 4-0 Ashes defeat by Australia.

A statement from the PCA said: “Graham Thorpe has recently fallen seriously ill and is currently in hospital receiving treatment.

“His prognosis is unclear at this stage and we ask for privacy for him and his family at this time.

“Our thoughts are with Graham and his family.”

In a statement, Surrey County Cricket Club, where Thorpe spent his entire 17-year first-class career, said: “The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Graham, his wife Amanda, and family at this time.

“He is an icon of the English game, known by millions of cricket fans and forever a favourite son of Surrey CCC.”