Former England captain Andrew Strauss is preparing for an emotional day at Lord’s on Thursday, as the second Ashes Test turns red in honour of his late wife Ruth.
Day two of the second Specsavers 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, while 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.
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’.”
The most exciting moment of a bleak day at the home of cricket came when Archer, one of the stars of England’s victorious World Cup campaign and bowler of the super over which sealed the trophy, was awarded his first cap by Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan.
Only eight of Jordan’s 78 England appearances have come in the five-day format but he was easily the most apt choice to welcome his fellow Barbadian into the fold, having helped the man he calls “a little brother” swap the Caribbean for Hove three years ago.
When Jordan presented Archer with his Three Lions cap, shortly before 3pm, there was still hope of seeing him in action, but fading hopes of getting captains Joe Root and Tim Paine to complete the toss disappeared as another heavy downpour struck.