Oldest England male Test player Smith dies

Don Smith (left) pictured batting in pre-season training at the County Ground, Hove in the 1950s

England’s oldest living male Test cricketer Don Smith has died aged 97, his former county Sussex have confirmed.

Smith played three Tests against the West Indies in 1957 and had a spell as Sri Lanka coach in 1984 before retiring to Australia with his wife Lyn.

He passed away peacefully at his home in Adelaide on Sunday.

A left-handed opening batsman and medium pace bowler, he scored just under 17,000 runs and took 340 wickets in a 16-year first-class career.

Smith was also the second oldest living Test player from any country, with South African all-rounder John Watkins two months older.

After retiring from playing in 1962, he was also a cricket coach and groundsman at Lancing College in West Sussex for more than 20 years and played county league football before becoming a qualified referee.

Smith’s passing means former seam bowler Ian Thomson, 91, who also played for Sussex, and appeared in five Tests in 1964 and 1965, becomes the oldest living England Test player.

England’s oldest living female Test cricketer is 109-year-old Eileen Ash.