In Andrew Strauss' absence, Andy Flower will take charge as the interim director. © Getty Images

In Andrew Strauss’ absence, Andy Flower will take charge as the interim director. © Getty Images

Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, will take an indefinite break as the director of England cricket in order to spend time with his ailing wife and family, he announced on Tuesday (May 22).

Ruth, Strauss’s wife, was diagnosed with cancer a few months back and is continuing to undergo treatment. The Strausses have two young sons.

In his absence, Andy Flower, the former England coach who is currently coaching England Lions, will take charge as the interim director.

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

“On a day-to-day basis 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 both England and English cricket and he will fill in my shoes very adequately.

“I look forward to returning and grabbing the reins again. But, at this period of time, my focus has to be on supporting Ruth and my family at a challenging time for us.”

England’s first assignment of their home summer is a two-match Test series against Pakistan starting at Lord’s on Thursday. Their summer winds down with three T20 Internationals, and as many One-Day Internationals as well as five Tests against India.