Advertisement

New aim for McGrath ahead of Pink Test

Former Test quick Glenn McGrath is looking forward to the Pink Test during the Ashes series

As the most successful fast bowler in the history of international cricket, Glenn McGrath knows about chasing a run target, but his new target is much more personal.

"We've got 118 on the board. If we get 79, we can win the match," McGrath tells AAP.

It's not runs he's talking about; it's nurses.

"We're extremely proud to have placed 118 McGrath Breast Care Nurses across Australia supporting 56,000 families but there's still lots more to do," he says.

His first wife Jane's battle with breast and bone cancer led to the formation of the McGrath Foundation. Jane died in 2008 aged 42.

Jane said having a breast care nurse was "like having someone hold my hand through one of the worst nightmares of my life".

McGrath says the foundation's concept was if it could fund only one nurse then it would be worthwhile.

Jane never wanted the charity to be about her, McGrath tells AAP in Sydney's Centennial Park.

"She wanted it to be about the nurses and the people going through breast cancer. She would be amazed where we are (today) ... very humble and really proud," he says.

WATCH: Jane McGrath day at SCG

The success of the foundation has been phenomenal, with pink becoming as synonymous with Aussie cricket as the crisp whites.

"I just think I'm doing what anyone else would do in the same situation. I do view myself a very lucky person with what I've been able to do in my life, who I've had in my life. There have been tough times without a doubt but I think everybody has their own battles and challenges," McGrath says.

McGrath credits his former teammates, the foundation staff, his new wife, Sara Leonardi-McGrath, and the birth of their daughter Madison, for their help.

He says his two teenage children with Jane, James and Holly, adore Sara and their little sister.

"The foundation is a much about hope. My family is an example of that," McGrath says.

Sydney mother-of-two Carol Wilde, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 when she was 36, says the support offered by a McGrath Breast Care Nurse was unforgettable.

"I never felt alone. I didn't want to lose it in front of my family. I wanted to protect my kids. And I could with Alison (nurse)," Ms Wilde, who had a lumpectomy then chemotherapy and radiation treatment, tells AAP.

"She kept in constant contact. She made sure I was able to make doctor appointments that fitted in with my children's schedules. She was there when I woke from surgery and there for every chemo appointment."

Today, her two teenage sons are proud to wear pink, whether on the cricket field or fundraising at school.

Since hanging up his baggy-green cap, McGrath admits his wardrobe contains a lot of pink.

The boy from Narromine in central-western NSW laughs when he explains the foundation's official colour is "McGrath Pink" with touches of "aubergine".

Cricket fans can expect a sea of it at this year's 10th Sydney Pink Test.

McGrath is again urging Australians to support McGrath Breast Care Nurses by organising a Pink Stumps Day.

WATCH: McGrath's Lord's masterclass

"It's about bringing the magic of the Sydney Pink Test out to any local area around Australia putting on a cricket match, proudly wearing pink, and raising funds for the McGrath Foundation," McGrath said at the campaign launch in Sydney.

All donations go to funding McGrath Breast Care Nurses.

"We don't put a nurse on until we have three years funding ($390,000) upfront so we can guarantee that nurse for a minimum three years," he says.

He estimates it costs $12.5 million to $13 million a year to fund the nurses, for which there is federal government support.

The Sydney Pink Test starts on January 5 - the fifth Ashes Test.

He says people can hold their Pink Stumps Day whenever it suits but the main event is February 17.

Every person who registers at pinkstumpsday.com.au receives a pink cricket kit including stumps, a bat, ball, bails, bandana, zinc cream, a tape and a collection box - all in pink.

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21