Ruth Strauss dies in Australia at age 46

LONDON — Ruth Strauss, the wife of former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss, has died following a battle with lung cancer. She was 46.

The England and Wales Cricket Board released a statement on Saturday on behalf of Andrew Strauss, saying the former actress died in Australia surrounded by loved ones.

Strauss, a former opener for England, announced in October that he was stepping down from his position as the national team's director of cricket so he could support his family while his wife underwent treatment for cancer.

She was diagnosed with cancer in December 2017 during the Ashes series in Australia.

The couple married in 2003 and have two children, Sam and Luca.

"Sam, Luca and I will miss her terribly," Strauss said in the ECB statement. "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."

Strauss said his family will now set up a foundation in memory of his wife to raise funds for cancer treatment and research.

"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," the statement said.

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