McGrath says ‘Pink Test’ continues to deliver important message

The McGrath Foundation hopes to raise more than $2 million this year towards breast care nurses.
The McGrath Foundation hopes to raise more than $2 million this year towards breast care nurses.

Cricketing legend Glenn McGrath hopes women watching the Pink Test this week will check themselves for breast cancer during the match and seek help if they find anything unusual.

Australia takes on India in the fourth Test at the SCG from Thursday but McGrath wants women attending the cricket to focus on their own health for a few minutes at least.

"There are plenty of stories where women watching the Test, they have sort of checked themselves or noticed something not quite normal, and gone and got themselves checked out and found out they had breast cancer but it was still in the early stages," the former paceman said.

McGrath said women - and men too - should "get to know your bodies and if you do see a change or think there's something there go and get it checked out".

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

The next generation of the foundation could include the couple's teenage children - Holly and James - and his daughter Madison with second wife Sara Leonardi-McGrath.

"You never know, there's that opportunity to play some sort of role moving forward. They're always involved in the Sydney Test every year; it's something that they're proud of and I think it's a great legacy that their mum has left for them too," McGrath said.

A member of Channel 7’s cricket commentary team this summer, McGrath has strong connection with the Sutherland Shire having joined the Sutherland District Cricket Club in the 1989-90 season as a young fast bowler from Narromine.

He would go on to become one of Australia’s greatest Test cricketers in a career which  spanned 124 Tests, taking 563 wickets, averaging 21.64.

Sutherland Shire Council renamed Caringbah Oval after McGrath in 2008.

He said playing in the club's maiden first grade premiership in 1995-96 was memorable, up there with Test and World Cup triumphs.

"The club has a special place in my heart,” McGrath told the Leader.

The McGrath Foundation hopes to raise more than $2 million this year towards breast care nurses.

Research from the foundation shows there will be a shortfall of more than 100 of the specialist nurses in 2019.

Players and fans wear pink during the Sydney Test each year to show support for those experiencing breast cancer and to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation.

Australian Associated Press, The Leader