In a day of slowish scoring of less than 300 hundred runs in total, a third of them scored by Rory Burns and Jonny Bairstow, the main feature of the day was its dedication to the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
At the risk of sounding like Victor Meldew I was not sure about this. Charity is a matter of personal choice, was Andrew Strauss exceeding his authority in the game to have a full day devoted to fund-raising and was this a copy cat of the Glenn McGrath Pink day in the Sydney Oval which I attended?
However, here is a link to a moving interview that both gave to Jonathan Agnew – McGrath/ Strauss interview
However, as the day unfurled my position changed and I felt this to be worthwhile and inspiring event.
First, I must declare a personal interest as I met Ruth Strauss not once but twice. She reminded me, at a meeting at Uxbridge Cricket Ground watching Middlesex, that we had already met at the Hampstead Theatre as she was a talented actress and producer.
Oddly, though there has been a lot of coverage of her death, far less on her life. I found her to be a personality of great vitality, a natural communicator with an Australian trait of openness. So that made her death aged 46 all the more tragic.
Third, Strauss is a proven Test cricketer, captain and administrator. His decision to stick with Eoin Morgan after the World Cup defeat and debacle of 2015 was an important reason why England won 4 years later. Suddenly he had to deal with holding a family together in the toughest of circumstances and he faced up to the challenge.
Fourth, I lost a close friend to cancer earlier in the year. Like Ruth Strauss he was fit, healthy, embraced life and now he’s gone.
As for the cricket, with more and heavy rain expected this afternoon, a draw seems inevitable. Australia will have to score briskly this morning and hope to bowl England out in say 4 sessions but there may be more rain.
In a day when England’s batting came under severe criticism – inevitably from Geoff Boycott – Rory Burns made his case withe top score of 53 and Jonny Bairstow returned to form. Joe Denly looked elegant without ever looking likely to make big score.
I would give youth a chance and call up Sam Curran who contributed so much in Sri Lanka.