Andrew John Strauss, OBE (born 2 March 1977) is a retired English cricketer who played county cricket for Middlesex County Cricket Club and is a former captain of England’s Test cricket team. A fluent left-handed opening batsman, Strauss favoured scoring off the back foot, mostly playing cut and pull shots. Strauss was also known for his fielding strength at slip or in the covers.
Strauss made his first-class debut in 1998, and his One Day International (ODI) debut in Sri Lanka in 2003. He quickly rose to fame on his Test match debut replacing the injured Michael Vaughan at Lord’s against New Zealand in 2004. With scores of 112 and 83 (run out) in an England victory, and the man of the match award, he became only the fourth batsman to score a century at Lord’s on his debut and was close to becoming the first Englishman to score centuries in both innings of his debut. Strauss again nearly scored two centuries (126 and 94 not out) and was named man of the match in his first overseas Test match, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in December 2004.
Strauss suffered a drop in form during 2007, and as a result he was left out of the Test squad for England’s tour of Sri Lanka, and announced that he was taking a break from cricket. After a poor tour for England, Strauss was recalled into the squad for the 2008 tour of New Zealand and subsequently re-established himself in the side with a career-best 177 in the third and final Test of that series, and a further three centuries in 2008.
Having deputised for Michael Vaughan as England captain in 2006, Strauss was appointed on a permanent basis for the 2008/09 tour of the West Indies following Kevin Pietersen’s resignation. He enjoyed success with three centuries, and retained the captaincy into 2009. Strauss captained the England team to a 2–1 victory in the 2009 Ashes, scoring a series total of 474 runs, more than any other player on either side, including 161 in England’s first victory in an Ashes Test at Lord’s in 75 years.
He currently holds the record for most catches by an outfield player for England – going past Botham and Cowdrey at Lords against South Africa in 2012. He relinquished the Test captaincy and retired from all forms of professional cricket on 29 August 2012, following his 100th test, which concluded a series defeat by South Africa that saw the England Test team lose their number one ranking. He left the job the second most successful captain of the English modern era in terms of wins, second only to his old opening partner Michael Vaughan. At the end of his retirement press conference he received an unprecedented round of applause from the assembled media.