Ruth Strauss dies aged 46 as a result of rare lung cancer

Andrew Strauss and his wife Ruth after being awarded his OBE in 2011
Andrew and Ruth Strauss married in 2003 and went on to have two sons

Ruth Strauss, the wife of former England captain and director of cricket Andrew Strauss, has died at the age of 46 as a result of a rare lung cancer.

She was diagnosed with the disease in December 2017, and her husband stepped down from his role at the ECB in October after three and a half years.

They had two sons - Sam, 13, and Luca, 10 - after marrying in 2003.

Andrew Strauss said it gave the family "huge comfort" that his wife had died in Australia, where she was born.

In a statement, he also said the family would be launching a foundation to help others affected by cancer.

"It is with great sadness and immense grief that we have to announce that Ruth passed away today as a result of her rare lung cancer," he said.

"Sam, Luca and I will miss her terribly.

"Anyone who has met Ruth will know how loving, caring and passionately protective she was of her family and it gives us huge comfort that she was in Australia, the land of her birth, surrounded by those who love her, in her final moments.

"We would like to send our heartfelt thanks to those that have helped with her treatment over the last 12 months, in particular the wonderful team at University College Hospital in London.

"Ruth desperately wanted to help those affected by this terrible disease and we will be launching a foundation in due course to raise much needed funds to aid research and also to offer support to patients and their families."

Tom Harrison, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), said: "Ruth was an extraordinary and inspirational person and will be greatly missed by everyone whose life she touched, including her many friends in cricket.

"Our love, thoughts and prayers are with Andrew and their two sons, Sam and Luca, at this extremely difficult time."

The Strauss family celebrate with the Ashes trophy in 2009
The Strauss family celebrate England's Ashes win in 2009

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