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Strauss to take break; Flower to step in

Former England opener and ECB director Andrew Strauss is set to take time away from his post to be with his wife, Ruth, who begins the second phase of cancer treatment at the end of the week. England Lions coach Andy Flower, former technical director of the full men’s side, will assume Strauss’ duties in his absence.

Strauss, who has been in his role since May 2015, returned home early from Australia after the second Ashes Test when Ruth was first diagnosed with cancer in December. While the first treatment went well, the second, which begins on Friday, is “more challenging” and, understandably, the former England captain will support his wife and family during this stage.

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Strauss said: “My wife was diagnosed with cancer in December. We’re very lucky she has been very well up till now. Although, she is starting a new treatment on Friday that is going to be more challenging for her. As such, I am going to be stepping back from my day-to-day duties while that treatment is going on.”

He added: “Andy Flower is going to be stepping in for me over the course of the summer. We all know about his qualities and his experience of England and English cricket. I look forward to returning once the treatment has finished and grabbing the reins again. But, I hope you appreciate that for this period of time my focus needs to be supporting Ruth and my family at this challenging time.”

Flower will be acting director of cricket for at least the next three months. Since his tenure as England head coach, in which he guided the national team to number one in the Test rankings, along with historic series wins in India and Australia. He was appointed technical director of elite cricket coaching at the ECB before taking a more hands-on job in charge of the Lions.

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