Former England captains Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss have been given knighthoods in ex-Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation honours list.
Boycott, 78, scored 8,114 runs in 108 Tests for England from 1964 to 1982 and was captain on four occasions in 1978 in place of the injured Mike Brearley.
Strauss led England to two Ashes wins, as well as the number one Test ranking, in his 50 Tests as captain.
The 42-year-old scored 7,037 runs at an average of 40.91 in 100 England Tests.
Every departing prime minister can draw up a resignation honours list, which the Cabinet Office has to approve. May showed her love of cricket with the knighthoods for Strauss and Boycott among the 57 people recognised.
Over the course of his first-class career, Boycott averaged 56.83 with the bat and scored 151 centuries and over 48,000 runs.
After his retirement, Boycott has gone on to become a successful broadcaster and is part of the BBC’s cricket commentary team.
The Yorkshireman was forced to apologise in 2017 after reportedly saying it would be more likely he would be knighted if he was to ‘black his face’.
Domestic abuse charities have criticised giving a knighthood to Boycott, who was convicted in France in 1998 of beating his then girlfriend Margaret Moore in a French Riviera hotel.
Boycott, who has always denied the assault, was fined £5,000 and given a three-month suspended sentence.
Mrs May, who introduced a landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament earlier this year, was accused by the charity Women’s Aid of sending a “dangerous message”.
‘A man worthy of the honour’
Strauss joined the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as England’s director of cricket after his retirement from all forms of cricket in 2012.
He left the role last year to support his wife Ruth, who was being treated for terminal cancer, and went on to launch a foundation in her name.
Former England coach Andy Flower, who was in charge during Strauss’ time as captain, paid tribute to his former skipper.
“I cannot think of a man more worthy of the honour,” Flower said.
“As a player he was tough and resilient, as a captain he balanced a firm hand and moral compass with a compassion and empathy that meant he was loved and respected in the dressing room by his players and the staff.”
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “Our heartfelt congratulations go to Sir Geoffrey Boycott – honoured for his long career and passionate dedication to the sport.
“In May 2015, Andrew was invited to join the ECB as director, England cricket, to shape the future strategy of the men’s international teams – in part to enable an environment that would see England as live contenders for the World Cup in 2019, an aim they so thrillingly delivered on just a few short months ago.
“It was with the same class and courage that he and his family set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation to raise money and awareness just a few months after losing Ruth to a rare form of cancer.
“Aside from his achievements on and off the pitch, Andrew is widely regarded as an exceptional person in our game and this wonderful accolade will be celebrated around the cricketing world.”