Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Andrew Strauss tells of 'incredible emotions' as Lord's turns Red For Ruth in honour of his late wife

Andrew Strauss, with sons Luca and Sam, before ringing the five-minutes-to-play bell at Lord's. Credit: PA

Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss has spoken of the "incredibly emotional" day as Lord's donned red to pay tribute to his late wife, who died of a rare form of lung cancer.

Strauss, who smiled broadly as sons Luca and Sam rang the bell to signal play in the second Ashes Test was shortly to start, told ITV News how proud he was that the cricketing family had come together to wear red, Ruth's favourite colour.

Day two of the Test has been given over to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which was set up following her death in December, aged 46.

Players, pundits and the paying public have been encouraged to wear something red - #RedForRuth - to show their support, while there will also be a range of fundraising initiatives including the chance to bid for the limited edition caps and shirts being worn by the England and Australia teams.

Ahead of the second day - following a washed out day one - Strauss said: "I'm excited about it, there's a lot of anticipation about what we've got in store and what we might be able to get out of it and how we might be able to change people's lives as a result.

"On a personal level, it's going to be an emotional day for me and the kids but it's great to be here and sample it and get a feeling of how much support there is for the foundation and people who want to pay testament to Ruth.

Sky Sports pundits David Gower, left, and Shane Warne, right, join Strauss in red. Credit: PA

"What has amazed me throughout the whole process is how willing the MCC, the ECB and the whole cricket family has been to make it happen.

"Protocol has been chucked to one side, precedent's gone out the window, they have said 'crack on and do it'."

Strauss gave up his job as boss of England cricket to look after Ruth in her final months.

She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 but had never smoked.

Strauss with wife Ruth and sons Sam and Luca, pictured in 2009. Credit: PA

Scores of fans turned up in red to support the efforts - with many telling of personal grief that had spurred them to do so.

The Foundation has adopted a similar fundraising drive as that developed by former Aussie bowler great Glenn McGrath, whose wife Jane died of breast cancer in 2008.

A foundation set up in her name sees players, fans and pundits wear pink at the Sydney Cricket Ground - McGrath's home ground during his playing days - to raise money for specialist nurses in Australia.