A fine all-rounder whose career will Leicestershire spanned four decades, Ewart Astill represented England nine times, but never at home. He toured West Indies twice, and South Africa and India. First playing for Leicestershire at the age of 16, he was not seen at his best until after the first World War, when during the twenties he performed the double nine times, 1927 being the only year in which he failed to perform the feat.
A right-arm medium pacer, he spun and cut the ball both ways off the pitch, favouring off-spin. He was able to sustain long spells, maintaining accuracy. He was a steady bat, with a career average of 22.78, slightly above his bowling average, and became Leicestershire's first professional captain in 1935. Commissioned in the first World War, his first-class career ended when he re-joined the Army in 1939. A popular tourist, Astill was a fine musician, and billiards player. He was an excellent coach, employed at Tonbridge following the Second World War, and influential in the development of many young players, including Colin Cowdrey.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)