Eileen Ash, the world’s oldest former Test cricketer, has died aged 110.
The bowler made her England debut in 1937, played seven Tests either side of World War Two and retired in 1949.
Eighty years after making her international debut, Ash rang the bell at Lord’s before England’s victory in the 2017 Women’s World Cup final.
ECB managing director of women’s cricket and former England captain Clare Connor said Ash was a “pioneer” of the sport.
“I am deeply sad to be saying goodbye to her today,” said Connor.
“Heather (Knight, England captain) 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.
“She regaled us with some amazing stories, including how she came to have her bat signed by Sir Donald Bradman at a French restaurant in Sydney in 1949. I know neither of us will ever forget that day, it was so special.
“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.”
A right-arm medium-pace bowler, Ash made her England debut against Australia under her maiden name, Whelan, and took 10 wickets at an average of 23 in her career.
She played domestically for Civil Service Women, Middlesex Women and South Women, and was seconded by MI6 during World War Two.
In 2019 a portrait of Ash was unveiled at Lord’s.