William Ewart Astill
March 01, 1888, Ratby, Leicestershire
February 10, 1948, Stoneygate, Leicester, (aged 59y 346d)
Right hand bat
Right arm slow medium
Ewart Astill was a fine allrounder whose career with Leicestershire spanned four decades. Physically ordinary - of medium height and slight build - he could cut and spin the ball both ways at medium pace and was a solid middle-order batsman who was good enough to score 1000 runs in a season 11 times (and the double on nine occasions between 1921 and 1930). The first of nine England caps didn't come until he was almost 40, and all his Tests were abroad (five in South Africa in 1927-28 and four in the Caribbean in 1929-30). Astill made his county debut in 1906 and his last first-class appearance came in 1939, and he holds the county record for wickets (2130) and in 1935 became their first professional caption.
Off the field, Astill was a hugely popular figure who was a champion billards player, a fine musician and an accomplished vocalist. He was commissioned in the Great War and rejoined the army, aged 51, at the outbreak of the Second World War. He coached for a few years at Tonbridge.
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