- Ruth Strauss Foundation
- Served as England Cricket Captin
- Director of Cricket for England and Wales
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Strauss moved to the UK when he was six. By 1996, Strauss was playing cricket for Durham University and Middlesex’s second XI before making his first-class debut for Middlesex in 1998.Despite scoring 83 in his first match, Strauss began with a modest average of 24 in his first season, making his first century two years into his career, but over the next three years, his average rose sharply, reaching 51 in 2003.
Although he did appear in England colours during One Day International tours in the summer of 2003, Strauss made his full Test debut in 2004, replacing the injured Michael Vaughan.Strauss immediately announced himself on the world stage, scoring 112 in the first innings, the highest of any England player, and 82 in the second. He was awarded Man of the Match for his efforts.
Strauss deputised for England captain Michael Vaughan throughout 2005-2006 and was officially appointed captain on 7 January 2009. This followed the most difficult period of this career, when he was intermittently dropped from both the Test and ODI side, leading to his decision to take a break from cricket in the winter of 2007.Strauss retired from the captaincy of the ODI side following England’s quarter-final defeat to Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup. He retired from cricket more widely in August 2012, after playing in 100 Tests. His team mates, to thank him for his service, gave him 100 bottles of wine.
An historic victory
Before 2010-2011, the last time England had beaten Australia on their own patch was in 1986-87. The tour began poorly, especially for Strauss, who was caught after only three balls and no runs scored. A second innings fightback saw England draw the Test.
This improvement carried over to the second Test, with England, under Strauss’s captaincy, dismantling the Australians and winning by an innings and 71 runs.
At Perth, in the third test, England’s dominance was halted, with a batting collapse in the second innings leading to an Australian victory. The series was finely poised at 1-1.
The fourth, and decisive, Boxing Day Test was played at the MCG, the largest cricket ground in the world by capacity. Strauss won the toss and elected to bowl; an inspired decision as Australia were bowled out for 98. In an opening stand alongside Alastair Cook, who would eventually replace him as captain, Strauss scored 69, passing 6,000 career Test runs. After scoring 513, England went on to bowl Australia out for 258, winning the series and retaining the Ashes.
Despite the fifth test essentially being a dead rubber, it marked a landmark moment for England cricket as Strauss’ team recorded 644, their highest ever score in Australia.At the conclusion of the series, England emerged victorious and Strauss became only the third England captain to win the Ashes in both England and Australia.
Life after his playing career
He was appointed as the newly-created director of cricket for the ECB in May 2015 before resigning in 2018 to spend more time with his wife, Ruth, who was undergoing treatment for lung cancer.After his wife passed away in 2018, Strauss has devoted much of his time to running the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which raises money to fight rare lung cancers and provide support to patients and their families.
Listen to Sir Andrew Strauss's Leaders of Great Britain podcast.
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