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FORMER England captain Andrew Strauss is preparing for an emotional day at Lord’s tomorrow, as the ground turns red in honour of his late wife Ruth and the charity that bears her name.
Day two of the second Ashes Test has been given over to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which was set up following her death from a rare form of lung cancer in December.
Players, pundits and the paying public have been encouraged to wear something red to show their support and there will be a range of fundraising initiatives, including a chance to bid for the limited edition caps and shirts being worn by the England and Australia teams.
World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has also put the shirt he wore in the final into the auction and £1 from every programme sale will be added to the contributions collected at the stadium and online at ruthstraussfoundation.com.
“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,” said Strauss.
“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.
“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.’
“I’m incredibly grateful and hopefully it will be a really special day in terms of awareness for the foundation… It will be an emotional day but also a celebration of Ruth’s life. We hope that can help others who are going through something similar.
“Everything we get we’ll be grateful for and we’ll try to make that go as far as possible. We’re conscious that for every pound raised as much of it as possible goes to the causes.”
The initiative was partially inspired by the annual “pink Test” in Sydney, where day three at the SCG turns pink for the McGrath Foundation, set up by Australian great Glenn McGrath following his wife Jane’s death from breast cancer.
Strauss played in a pink Test on the Ashes tour of 2010-11 and has not ruled out a collaboration in the future.
“I sat down and did a piece with him last week. I really enjoyed speaking to him about his experiences and we’ll keep in contact. I’m sure there’s things we can do together in the future,” he said.
“We would love it to be more than a one-off event, but let’s suck it and see and we will make a decision from there. I am very confident it will be a great day. Hopefully we can do it again.”
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