Sydney: Jane McGrath, the wife of former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath, died on Sunday aged 42 after a long battle with cancer, Cricket Australia announced.
Jane died peacefully with her husband and their children by her side after her health had deteriorated in the past week following surgery in March.
"It is with deep sadness that the family and friends of Jane McGrath, beloved wife of former Australian cricketer Glenn and loving mother of James and Holly, must announce she passed away at her home this morning," said a statement released by Cricket Australia.
BATTLING CANCER: GLenn McGrath and Jane started up their own foundation to raise money for cancer research.
English-born Jane's long battle with cancer has been headline news in Australia for the past decade because of her marriage to McGrath, one of Australia's most successful and popular sportsmen, and their promotion of breast cancer awareness.
The couple started up their own foundation to raise money for research and training nurses and were recognised for their charity work earlier this year when they were appointed as Members of the Order of Australia.
"Jane's courageous struggle touched all Australians," Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement.
"Jane was an inspiration whose legacy will continue to benefit so many others."
Jane was first diagnosed with breast cancer during Australia's Ashes tour of England in 1997 then bone cancer in her hip in 2003 but made a full recovery both times.
She was then diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in 2006, prompting McGrath to take eight months off cricket to care for her and their two young children while she was undergoing radiotherapy.
He returned to the team later that year to help Australia regain the Ashes from England and win the World Cup for a third time in succession before announcing he was retiring despite still being at the top of his game.
The news of Jane's death was greeted with a deep sense of sadness on Sunday.
Television stations interrupted their normal programmes to announce her passing while thousands of spectators at sporting events across the country observed a minute's silence.
"All of us who met her were charmed by her dignity and good humour as she tackled her battle with her illness for more than 10 years," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.