Former England and Middlesex captain Sir Andrew Strauss OBE, who founded the Ruth Strauss Foundation in memory of his late wife, will deliver the MCC Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday 1 February 2023.
The MCC Cowdrey Lecture, in memory of Lord Cowdrey of Tonbridge, has become an annual highlight in the cricketing calendar, provoking debate and discussion of the major issues facing the game today. Strauss becomes the seventh Englishman to provide the prestigious Lecture.
Strauss played for England on 231 occasions across all three international formats of the game, in a career for his country that spanned nine years between 2003 and 2012. An attractive left-handed batter, he made over 7,000 Test runs and more than 4,000 One-Day International runs.
It was under his captaincy in Test cricket, which began in 2009 and ended upon his retirement in 2012, that England reached number one in the ICC Test Rankings for the first time. Strauss also became only the third England captain to win an Ashes series at both home and in Australia.
Three years after he retired from cricket, Strauss was appointed as ECB’s Director of England Cricket, a post he held until his resignation in 2018.
Upon the tragic passing of his wife, Ruth, in the same year, he founded the Ruth Strauss Foundation which provides families with emotional support to help prepare for the death of a parent. The Foundation has held its annual #RedForRuth day during Test matches at Lord’s since 2019 and will be doing so again in 2023.
Strauss returned to the ECB in 2019 and is currently Chair of the Performance Cricket Committee.
MCC President, actor, comedian and author Stephen Fry, gave the preceding speech in 2021. He officially succeeded Clare Connor as President of the Club last month.
The inaugural address was delivered in 2001 by Richie Benaud and past lecturers include Clive Lloyd, Imran Khan, Kumar Sangakkara and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
"We are so lucky that he has agreed to give this year’s Cowdrey Lecture"
The Lecture will be live streamed via the Lord’s YouTube and Facebook channels at 18:30 GMT.
MCC President Stephen Fry said: “Sir Andrew Strauss’s record as player and captain stand for themselves as amongst the most successful in the long history of our game.
“But he has achieved so much more than that: his eloquence, passion and personal integrity have shone through his post playing days in broadcast commentary, administration and mentorship.
“We are so lucky that he has agreed to give this year’s Cowdrey Lecture. It promises to be an unmissable occasion.”
Sir Andrew Strauss OBE said: “I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of so many greats of the game and delivering the MCC Cowdrey Lecture, and I’m grateful to the Club for offering me the opportunity to do so.
"Lord Cowdrey embodied the Spirit of Cricket, which is so important in our game, and to be part of an event that bears his name is a privilege.
“Stephen Fry’s impassioned lecture will certainly be a tough act to follow, but I very much look forward to the evening and joining a list of speakers that begins with the great Richie Benaud."
About the MCC Cowdrey Lecture
The MCC Cowdrey Lecture, formerly referred to as the ‘Spirit of Cricket Lecture’ is an annual event organised by MCC and hosted at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
The event is named after Lord Cowdrey, the former England captain who is credited with initiating the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ – an outline for fair play that was later added as the official Preamble to the Laws of Cricket.
Lord Cowdrey passed away in December 2000 and in his memory, the Cowdrey Lecture was born. The first Lecture took place in 2001 and was delivered by the great Australian captain and commentator Richie Benaud.
Speakers have more often than not been distinguished former cricketers or cricketing personalities, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Lecture in 2008 a notable exception. Current MCC President Kumar Sangakkara delivered the Lecture in 2011, the only person to have done so while still an active cricketer.
The full list of speakers is as follows:
2001 Richie Benaud - Australia
2002 Barry Richards - South Africa
2003 Sunil Gavaskar - India
2004 Clive Lloyd - West Indies
2005 Geoffrey Boycott - England
2006 Martin Crowe - New Zealand
2007 Christopher Martin-Jenkins - England
2008 Archbishop Desmond Tutu - South Africa
2009 Adam Gilchrist - Australia
2010 Imran Khan - Pakistan
2011 Kumar Sangakkara - Sri Lanka
2012 Tony Greig - England
2013 Simon Taufel - Australia
2014 Sir Ian Botham - England
2015 Rod Marsh - Australia
2016 Brendon McCullum - New Zealand
2017 Brian Lara - West Indies
2018 Dave Richardson - South Africa
2019 Mike Brearley - England
2021 Stephen Fry - England