The former opening batsmen were the only sporting names to feature in the list, which mainly honoured political figures – a sign of May’s known passion for cricket and respect for Boycott in particular.
Strauss represented England in 100 Tests between 2004 and 2012, scoring over 7,000 runs at an average of 40.91. He also captained his country to two Ashes series wins, as well as the No 1 spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) world rankings.
Boycott’s 108 Tests from 1964 to 1982 saw him achieve 8,114 runs at a 47.72 average, while he averaged 56.83 in his first-class career with 151 centuries and over 48,000 runs in all. He captained England for four Tests in 1978 and was the first man to reach 8,000 Test runs for England
Andy Flower, who shared in Strauss’ successes as England coach from 2009 to 2014, led the tributes to his former captain.
“I cannot think of a man more worthy of the honour,” Flower told the PA news agency.
“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.
“As a father and husband he acted with a level of courage and integrity that is an example to us all.
“We are very proud of him.”
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison said in a statement: “We couldn’t be more delighted that Sir Andrew Strauss joins other giants within the sport who have been knighted for their achievements.
“In May 2015, Andrew was invited to join the ECB as director of 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 [wife] Ruth to a rare form of cancer.
“Our heartfelt congratulations also go to Sir Geoffrey Boycott – honoured for his long career and passionate dedication to the sport.”
Boycott was forced to apologise in 2017 after joking that he would have to “black up” to receive a knighthood, pointing out that the honour had been bestowed on West Indian cricketers including Sir Viv Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Curtly Ambrose.
Additional reporting by PA
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