Eileen Ash – The Most Experienced Female Cricketer Alive turned 110

29 matches. 42 wickets. 19 catches. Civil servant for MI6 (Military Service during World War 2). Golf player. And much more. No, I’m not talking about a fictional character that we all would undoubtedly fall head over heels for. Rather, I’m talking about England’s evergreen right-arm medium bowler – Eileen Ash who recently turned 110 on the 30th of October.

 

Eileen Ash - Oldest Female Cricketer
Eileen Ash – Most Experienced Female Cricketer Alive

 

Ash, along with her decent cricketing career holds many other impressive records, some of which were mentioned earlier. As of now, Ash is widely known for being the oldest international cricketer alive. Oldest is one word to describe but experienced is the right term if you ask me. Born in 1911, she has witnessed several different cricketing eras and even been a part of one herself, putting herself in a position to talk about the game in a unique way which would be a privilege to hear.

In 2011, Ash became the only female test cricketer to live for more than 100 years earning herself the spot of an honorary member at the Marylebone Cricket Club. 6 years later, before the commencement of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Final, she was also invited to ring the bell at the prestigious Lord’s which turned out to be the ideal day for her as her nation lifted the cup.

The same year, England skipper Heather Knight had also met her and quoted, “I had the absolute privilege of meeting Eileen Ash, the oldest living Test cricketer (male or female) for some filming before I left for Australia, and she is easily one of the most extraordinary ladies I’ve ever met. She’s 105, does yoga every week and I’ve met teenagers who have a lot less energy than she does! It was amazing to hear some of her experiences of playing cricket for England, especially the boat trips they used to have to take to play in Australia, and she also took me through her yoga routine. My pride, and a number of my muscle groups, are still in tatters after being put to shame by a 105-year-old.”

Moving on, earlier this year in January, she also became one of the oldest people to take the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK, and finally yesterday, she celebrated her 110th birthday at the care home she resides in, at Norwich. She celebrated this day with several wishes from England cricketers who she thanked by saying:

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“I’ve been so lucky in my life and done some lovely things”

“It’s absolutely amazing.”

“I’ve been very close to my family and have been very lucky to have been healthy for so long.”

Ash, despite not having a stand-out cricketing career, is a source of mighty inspiration for many as she has broken and defied societal norms that downgrade older people. For instance, she passed her driving test at 105 which was even filmed by the ITV show, 100-Year-Old Driving School. This proves the significance of accomplishing such a feat.

Lastly, when asked whether she had a secret for living so long, she replied: “Being happy and smiling a lot, red wine, and keeping fit with yoga.”

Student, Athlete, and Cricket Enthusiast.

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