Former England cricket captain: Telling sons their mum was about to die was hardest conversation

Former England captain Andrew Strauss has described telling his sons that their mother was about to die as the hardest conversation of his life.

Following a year-long fight, Ruth Strauss lost her battle with a rare form of lung cancer last December. She was 46.

Strauss stepped down from his role as England director of cricket two months before Ruth’s death to support his wife, and sons Sam, 13, and Luca, 10.

Andrew Strauss’ wife Ruth died last December after suffering from lung cancer (Mike Egerton/PA)
Andrew Strauss’ wife Ruth died last December after suffering from lung cancer (Mike Egerton/PA)

“I remember coming back from the hospital and having to take the boys to the side and say listen, I had a chat to the doctors and they’ve told us we’re going to have to say goodbye to mum soon,” Strauss told BBC’s Radio 5 Live podcast, You, Me and The Big C.

“That was the hardest conversation I’ve had in my lifetime. It’s still brutally vivid in my mind.”

Strauss, who captained England for four years before assuming his role at the ECB in 2015, set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation in honour of his late wife, to raise funds for research into rare lung cancers.

Strauss stepped down from his role at the ECB in October 2018 (John Walton/PA)
Strauss stepped down from his role at the ECB in October 2018 (John Walton/PA)

“With grief, there is no rhyme or reason to it and it’s been completely different to how I thought it was going to be,” he added.

“I thought I was going to be in bits for the first two or three weeks and unable to function completely, and I was surprisingly functional to the extent I’m like is there something wrong with me here?

“But then it hits you. And for me it doesn’t hit me for a whole day, it hits me for 10 minutes, an hour, two hours.

“It’s like this deep guttural grief I haven’t even got close to experiencing ever before in my life. It’s extraordinary and I’ve found different things bring it on at different times.”

Asked about his future in cricket, the 42-year-old said: “I’m not sure. It’s a lovely thing to be a fan again.

“I still take great pride in seeing England doing well and if we do well in the World Cup, I will have played my own little role in that.”

- Press Association

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