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Botham honoured with knighthood

The legendary cricketer who blazed the field as an all-rounder and raised funds for leukaemia charities, was awarded a knighthood by the Queen.

cricket Updated: Jun 16, 2007 14:58 IST

Legendary cricketer Ian Botham, who blazed the field as an all-rounder and raised more than 10 million pounds for leukaemia charities, was on Saturday awarded a knighthood by the Queen.

The 51-year-old former player received the honour in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours list officially released on Saturday.

Botham, nicknamed "Beefy", has played 102 Tests for England in a career that lasted from 1974 to 1993 and took 383 wickets, which remains an English record, and scored 5,200 runs. He has also helped increase the survival rate of leukaemia patients through 11 long-distance walks, including one over the Alps with elephants.

"I'm delighted that I've been honoured, not only for myself but for the people that have helped me get there," Botham said.

"There'll be a very good party. It will be a very proud moment for me to go to Buckingham Palace again," he was quoted as saying by the BBC website.

The cricketer-turned-commentator after retiring from cricket in 1993, focused on charity fund raising with ambitious walks up and down Britain.

"In the early '80s there was a 20 per cent chance of survival and now that has risen to 80 per cent," he said. Botham was banned in 1986 after being caught smoking cannabis in New Zealand but was recalled the following summer to pass Dennis Lillee's then world record of 355 Test wickets.

He later received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Sport Personality of the Year Awards in 2004 and was appointed an OBE in 1992.

According to the BBC, Manchester United's nine-time Premier League title winner Ryan Giggs is appointed an OBE while veteran striker Teddy Sheringham becomes an MBE.

Former snooker world champion Terry Griffiths becomes an OBE. Ex-Great Britain rugby league star Kris Radlinski and Dunfermline manager Jim Leishman are both appointed MBEs.

Other sports stars honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours List include former Wales and British Lions rugby union prop Graham Price and boxer Jane Couch (both MBE).

Yachtswoman Dee Caffari, who last year became the first woman to sail solo non-stop around the globe against the prevailing winds, is made an MBE.

Tim Phillips, chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, becomes a CBE. FA chairman Geoff Thompson, who last month was named as the new British Fifa representative, is made an OBE. British Show Jumping Association chief executive Jacqueline Wood also becomes a CBE.

First Published: Jun 16, 2007 14:07 IST