'Heartbreaking': The Rock touched by devastating cricket tragedy

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Lord’s will turn red to honour the life of Ruth Strauss on Thursday - the late wife of former England captain Andrew Strauss.

Day two of the second Ashes Test will be used to raise awareness for the Ruth Strauss Foundation, set up following her death from a rare form of lung cancer in December.

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Much like Jane McGrath day during the Sydney Test where everyone wears pink, players, commentators and fans have been encouraged to wear something red to show their support.

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.

The Australian Team pose in their Ruth Strauss Foundation Day caps and shirts. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

In a special podcast for BBC's Test Match Special, Strauss and former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath, who lost wife Jane to breast cancer in 2008, spoke about dealing with the loss of their partners on Wednesday.

“It’s been a tough seven months since Ruth died and probably an even tougher 12 months leading up to her death,” Strauss told broadcaster Jonathan Agnew.

“But one thing you realise when you’ve got young kids is that life doesn’t stand still, it always moves forward. They’re busy, they’re at school and there are plenty of jobs to do around the house.

“I’ve been very much on duty and just navigating our way through one day at a time.

“It’s definitely got a bit easier but at the same time that grief doesn’t leave you and you just have days where you remember and that’s part of the process.”

Andrew Strauss with wife Ruth and children Samuel (L) and Luca in 2009. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

The emotional interview reached a far wider audience than anyone in the cricket world would have expected, with actor and former WWE star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson retweeting the video.

“Beautiful/heartbreaking and inspiring,” he tweeted.

Strauss inspired by McGrath

Strauss said he was looking forward to what will be an emotional day at Lord’s.

“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’.”

The Ruth Strauss tragedy touched Dwayne Johnson. (Image: CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Strauss played in a pink Test during the Ashes tour in 2011, and said he was open to a collaboration in the future.

“To understand how much awareness and money comes out of it, which then makes a difference to people’s lives, you guys (the McGrath Foundation) have paved the way and that makes it easier for those of us that follow,” Strauss said.

“If we can in some way replicate what they’ve done then I’ll be very happy and I know that Ruth would be looking down feeling very honoured, a bit embarrassed, and very proud as well that we’ve been able to do something that really does make a difference.”

with AAP