Ian Botham knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

Updated: 15 October 2007 07:57 IST

The 51-year-old former allrounder, who can now be referred to as Sir Ian, was honored for his services to sport and his charity work for leukemia research.

Ian Botham knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

London:

England cricket great Ian Botham was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old former allrounder, who can now be referred to as Sir Ian, was honored for his services to sport and his charity work for leukemia research.

"I've had some great moments in sport and other walks of life but nothing matches this," Botham said. "It was mind blowing, magnificent."

Botham, whose nickname is Beefy, finished his career as England's leading Test wicket-taker with 383 wickets and 5,200 test runs. He played from 1974 until 1993 and said his greatest sporting achievements were Ashes wins against Australia - 1981 and 1985 in England, and 1987 in Australia.

"The highlight has to be any time we beat Australia, particularly when we beat them in Australia," Botham said, "but today puts that all into insignificance when you get an achievement like this."

Since he retired, Botham has worked as a cricket commentator and raised millions of pounds for the Leukemia Research charity through a series of long-distance charity walks, which he began while still playing.

"It's not just for myself but for my family and for the leukemia people who give their time to work for me," Botham said of his award. "It's just a very special day and one that I will never forget."

Botham said he talked with the queen about his fundraising efforts, rather than cricket, during the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

"I explained the inroads we had made in terms of (leukemia) research. There used to be a 20 percent chance of survival, now it's 80 percent."

Botham said he had not been addressed as Sir Beefy yet, adding: "I have been called Sir Loin of Beef."

Topics : Cricket Ian Botham
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