The oldest Test cricketer, Eileen Ash, passes away at 110

Eileen Ash at Lord's Cricket Ground © Getty Images

Eileen Ash, former England Test cricketer, passed away on Saturday (December 4) at the age of 110. England and Walse Cricket Board (ECB) paid tribute to a “remarkable woman who led an extraordinary life.”

Ash (née Whelan), who was the oldest living Test cricketer, made her debut against Australia before the Second World War, in 1937. She played seven Tests in all, taking 10 wickets at 23, including best figures of 3 for 35 against Australia. After serving on the UK’s intelligence service – MI6 during the World War, Ash played her last Test in 1949 against New Zealand in Auckland.

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ECB Managing Director of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor was eloquent in her praise of Ash, saying, “Our sport owes so much to its pioneers and Eileen was one of them. I am deeply sad to be saying goodbye to her today.”

At the age of 105, Ash rang the bell at Lord’s before the 2017 World Cup final between England and India. Two years later, she was honored by MCC at the same ground by unveiling her portrait.

“Heather (Knight) and I went to visit Eileen about six months before the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup – she was 105 at the time – and it was one of the most remarkable experiences. Eileen taught Heather yoga, we played snooker, we drank cups of tea and we leafed through newspapers and scrapbooks celebrating Eileen’s time as a player in the 1930s and 1940s,” Connor added.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Eileen’s family as they come to terms with losing such a wonderful woman and the end of an astonishing life,” Connor concluded.

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