Edwards has been a prolific batter for England since making her debut at the age of 16, and became England’s leading run-scorer in one-day internationals during the 2005 World Cup in South Africa.
She made the breakthrough into the national team against New Zealand in 1996, becoming the youngest England player. She had previously been captain of the Huntingdonshire Under-16 boys' side.
She quickly settled into the team and hit her highest ODI score of 173 not out against Ireland in the 1997 World Cup, made the day before her 18th birthday.
She played in the 2000 World Cup in New Zealand and, in her first innings of the tournament, struck an unbeaten 139 against the hosts.
She was picked to take part in her third Women's World Cup when she was selected for the 2005 tournament in South Africa and she surpassed Jan Brittin’s record of 2,121 ODI runs for England when she made 63 in the second group game against Sri Lanka.
Edwards scooped the prestigious England player of the year award for the second consecutive year in May 2005 and then helped her country memorably win the Ashes for the first time in 42 years.
She played in both Tests and made a half-century in the drawn first match. She also featured in all five NatWest Women's Series games against Australia, with her best performance coming in the decider at Taunton where she hit 57 and took three wickets but could not prevent a 3-2 series defeat.
She took over the captaincy for the 2005 tour of Sri Lanka and India when Clare Connor withdrew with a foot problem and was handed the job on a permanent basis when Connor retired.
She got the chance to lead the side on home soil for the first time in the 2006 summer series against India, taking them to a 4-0 one-day international victory, but losing the Test series 1-0 despite her innings of 105.
She returned to lead England to Australia in 2008 when the tourists retained the Ashes in empathic style by winning the solitary Test at Bowral. They went on to New Zealand and won the one-day series 3-1.
Edwards led England to another highly successful summer in 2008 with ODI series victories over West Indies, South Africa and India.
Her year got even better in September when she was named women’s cricketer of the year at the ICC awards ceremony in Dubai.
Edwards enjoyed a sensational first half of 2009, lifting the World Cup at the North Sydney Oval in March and the World Twenty20 at Lord’s in June, shortly after being awarded an MBE. England beat New Zealand in both finals.
The Ashes were retained once again later that summer as England drew the one-off Test at Worcester, with Edwards making a vital 53 not out in the hosts' second innings.
And she continued to plunder regular runs in the limited-overs arena throughout 2010, when England surrendered the World T20 title, including a vital 70 in the first ODI against New Zealand in July.
Edwards reached another landmark in November 2010 when she made her 142nd ODI appearance - against Sri Lanka - making her the most capped female cricketer in the world.
Two months later she followed fine limited-overs form with an unbeaten first-innings 114 in the one-off Ashes Test, but could not prevent England losing. However, they beat Australia in quadrangular ODI and T20 finals at home the following summer.
Edwards led England to victory in every completed game against South Africa and New Zealand the next winter, scoring ODI tons versus both.
In May 2012 she became the first woman to join the MCC world cricket committee and was voted England women's player of the year.
After a disappointing summer with the bat by her high standards, Edwards hit form as England were runners-up at the World T20 in Sri Lanka and came third at the World Cup in India.
Edwards took her Ashes triumphs to five after helping England retain and then regain the urn with back-to-back series victories over Australia. During 2013 England beat Australia 12 points to four on home soil in the first multi-format series before securing a 10-8 triumph Down Under the following year.
She is employed by the Cricket Foundation as a Chance to Shine coaching ambassador, working in schools and clubs to inspire children in cricket.