Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath today paid a moving tribute to his English-born wife, who has died from cancer at the age of 42.
Jane McGrath fought an 11-year battle against breast cancer.
The cricketer, 38, and their two children - James, eight, and Holly, six - were at the former air hostess's bedside when she died peacefully at the family home in Sydney yesterday.
In a moving statement, McGrath said: 'I am devastated by the loss of my beautiful wife Jane. She was my best friend.
Moving tribute:Glenn McGrath spoke of the courage and determination of wife Jane
'This is a very tough time for our children. I am grateful they were able to spend the time they had with their mother.
'Both are only young but as the years pass and they grow older I will ensure that they never forget how much she loved them. They were her world.
'I would like to think Jane will be remembered as an extraordinary person whose courage and determination humbled me and inspired so many people. Jane would want those women who are battling breast cancer to stay strong.
'She would want them to draw strength from the fact she didn't only 'survive' breast cancer for 11 years but during that time she lived life to the fullest and found pleasure in the simple things so many people take for granted.
'I never took for granted the time I had with Jane and if there is one thing that can be drawn from her life, it is that every day is a blessing.'
Mrs McGrath had surgery this year and was recovering before complications set in, the statement said.
She began treatment in February 2006 for a third bout of breast cancer, which included secondary cancer in her hip in 2003.
McGrath's fellow cricketers expressed their condolences.
Team captain Ricky Ponting said: 'Jane was a wonderful person who fought and maintained grace and dignity during her long-term illness.
'She was an exceptionally friendly and lovely person who displayed great courage and stoicism.
'She was a tremendous mother to James and Holly and shared a very special and deep relationship with Glenn in the time they had together. All of us are thinking about Glenn and their children at this very sad time.'
Cricketers will use tomorrow's one-day international match against the West Indies in St Vincent to honour the memory of Mrs McGrath.
As a mark of respect to the McGrath family, all Australian players will wear pink ribbons and batsmen will use pink grips during the batting innings.
The colour pink represents the McGrath Foundation, an organisation that is providing support to women in their fight against breast cancer.
Cricketer Glenn McGrath mourns British wife after she loses 11-year cancer battle at the age of 42 | Mail Online