Queen honours for Strauss, Cook and coach Flower

London: England Test skipper Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower were on Saturday made Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), while opening batsman Alastair Cook was named Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen`s Birthday Honours list.

The England cricket team was honoured by her Majesty for their victorious Ashes campaign five months ago, where they thrashed Australia 3-1 in the five-match series to secure their first win Down Under in 24 years.

Star batsman Cook accumulated 766 runs in the series, the highest by any England player in a Test series for 80 years.

"It is a great honour to receive this accolade. It`s one of the better items of post you get through the letterbox, certainly better than a gas bill," Strauss said.

"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," he added.

Apart from the England cricket team players, British actor Colin Firth, Nobel prize-winning IVF pioneer Professor Bob Edwards and veteran rock star Bryan Ferry were among hundreds of others rewarded in Queen Elizabeth II`s Birthday Honours list, released on Saturday.

Firth, who played Queen Elizabeth II`s father in Oscar-winning film -- "The King`s Speech", was accorded the highest honour -- Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to acting.

In other sporting honours, golfer Lee Westwood, who ended Tiger Woods` reign as the world number one, and former basketball player John Amaechi, who became the first NBA player to admit he is a gay in 2007, were recognised with an OBE.


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