Andrew Strauss thanked the cricket world for supporting “a special opportunity” to raise awareness about lung cancer as Lord’s turned red on day two of the second Ashes Test.
Former England captain Strauss lost his wife Ruth in December 2018 to a rare form of lung cancer that affects those who have never smoked and subsequently set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation to raise funds for research.
Fans attending Lord’s were invited to wear something red to show their support and Strauss set the standard by wearing a bright red suit. His two sons, Sam and Luca, rang the five-minute bell and a large Ruth Strauss Foundation banner adorned the outfield after the toss.
The Strauss boys ring the famous Lord's bell as the @HomeOfCricket turns #RedForRuth Watch #TheAshes live on Sky Sports The Ashes now or follow along here: https://t.co/wGZc2dA0i8 #RedForRuth @RuthStraussFdn pic.twitter.com/VYyVvTLx6F
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 15, 2019
Both teams subsequently came out of the pavilion wearing commemorative red caps, then handed them to the Strauss family so that they can be auctioned for the charity in just under a week’s time. An impressive £382,462 was raised for the charity from donations on Thursday alone.
“It’s a very proud day, it’s quite an emotional day already and it will probably be even more as the day goes on,” Strauss told Sky Sports.
“It’s a special opportunity to raise the profile and awareness about the Foundation and also to pay testament to Ruth as well – this is a celebration of her life and it’s just amazing to see the cricket world come together to support what we are trying to do.
“It’s going to make a difference to people’s lives and that’s why it’s such a special and close thing to our heart as well.”
In addition to raising funds for research, the Foundation aims to offer emotional, psychological and well-being support to patients and their families as they go through their cancer journey.
“Lung cancer is generally under-funded in terms of research and in particular these rare forms – what people don’t realise is that even if you’ve never smoked you can still get lung cancer,” Strauss explained.
“So with better research we want to understand why people are getting these lung cancers and hopefully getting diagnoses.
“The other side of it is about offering support to people who have a terminal diagnosis – that’s an unbelievably tough thing to come to terms with, that your life is going to be limited.