Geoffrey Boycott, Andrew Strauss receive knighthoods for England service 

The duo got knighted in ex UK Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation honors list.

Andrew Strauss and Geoffrey Boycott have now been knighted | Getty

Two former England skippers Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss received knighthoods in ex UK Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation honors list.

Boycott and Strauss were the only sporting names in a list largely consisting of political figures to give away May's deep love of cricket and her special admiration for Boycott in particular.

Boycott, who was the first man reach 8,000 Test runs for England, finished with 8,114 at an average of 47.72 after 108 Tests in a 12-year-long career. He also captained England in four Tests in 1978. 

At a news conference last November, May was asked in the form of a cricketing analogy about the number of ministerial resignations, or "wickets," over her handling of Brexit.

"One of my cricket heroes was always Geoffrey Boycott, and what do you know about Geoffrey Boycott?" she asked. "He stuck to it, and he got the runs in the end."

Boycott was forced to apologize in 2017 after joking that he would have to "black up" to be considered for a knighthood as the honor had been bestowed upon West Indies greats Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Curtly Ambrose even before him. 

He was also given a three-month suspended prison sentence in 1998 after being convicted of assault against former girlfriend Margaret Moore. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002 but made a full recovery and returned to TV commentating.

Moving on to Strauss, he played 100 Tests for England from 2004-12 and struck 7,037 runs at 40.91 besides successfully leading the team. 

In 2015, Strauss was appointed the director of cricket by ECB as he played a crucial behind the scenes role in revitalising England's white-ball fortunes towards a historic maiden World Cup triumph this July. 

"I cannot think of a man more worthy of the honour," former England coach Andy 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 also responded over the development saying: "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."

(Inputs from AP)


By Kashish Chadha - 10 Sep, 2019

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