Strauss and Cook lead Queen’s birthday honours list


Cricketers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook are among the sports stars named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. England captain Strauss is made OBE, along with team coach Andy Flower and golfer Lee Westwood. Cook, player of the series in last winter’s Ashes win, athletes Phillips Idowu and Jessica Ennis and cyclist Mark Cavendish all become MBEs. Four-time Derby-winning trainer Henry Cecil receives a knighthood for his services to horse racing. There is also an honour for ex-basketball star John Amaechi, who grew up in Stockport before moving to the US and becoming one of the game’s biggest names. He is made OBE.
The 40-year-old became the first openly gay NBA player after coming out in 2007. Among the administrators honoured are former Olympics Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins, who receives a knighthood, and David Sparkes, the chief executive of British swimming, who becomes an OBE after overseeing a transformation in the sport. Strauss, Flower and Cook are recognised for their achievement in winning the Ashes in Australia for the first time in 24 years. The 3-1 series victory laid to rest memories of the humiliating 5-0 whitewash in their 2006/07 tour down under.
Gloucester-born Cook scored 766 runs, the second highest total by an England batsman in any Ashes series, and during the fifth Test in Sydney became the second youngest player to reach a career total of 5,000 runs. Strauss, who is already an MBE after helping England to beat Australia for the first time in a generation in 2005, spoke of his pride, personally, and on behalf of his two colleagues and the rest of his tea-mates and coaching staff. “It is a great honour to receive this accolade,” he said. “It’s one of the better items of post you get through the letterbox – certainly better than a gas bill.”
“I’m very proud to receive it and, more than anything, very proud of how the team performed out there in Australia. “Our guys really stood up under the pressure. “It is wonderful to receive OBEs and MBEs. We have achieved something but are nowhere near the end of the road yet, and will continue to strive to improve.”