James Anderson hails Andrew Strauss as the ‘best captain’ following his knighthood

England's captain Andrew Strauss (L) tal

James Anderson hailed Andrew Strauss as the “best captain” he has had and a “really great bloke” after his former England teammate was awarded a knighthood.

The seamer said Strauss should be “hugely proud” after being recognised in former Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation honours list.

Strauss played exactly 100 Tests for England between 2004 and 2012, scoring more than 7,000 runs at an average of 40.91 and captaining his country to two Ashes series wins and the number one spot in the ICC world rankings.

After retiring he served as managing director of England cricket. He played a key role in the team’s World Cup triumph this summer, even though he had already stepped down from the role, setting up the Ruth Strauss Foundation in memory of his late wife, who died of a rare form of lung cancer in December.

Anderson, a key member of the teams Strauss skippered, said: “I’m really chuffed for him. He’s had a tough couple of years in his personal life and he’s comfortably the best captain I’ve played under. A really great bloke.

“He started off the cycle of the last four years, this white-ball focus, and played a huge part in England winning the World Cup.

“With his charity that he’s set up, doing some amazing work. To deal with the things he’s dealt with in the last couple of years, he should be hugely proud.”

Anderson himself is England’s leading Test wicket taker with 575 victims, but is not expecting a ‘Sir James’ to be on the cards any time soon.

“It’s not something I’ve really thought about,” he said. “It’s not for me to comment on something like that.

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“I’ve not captained any team, apart from Lancashire’s pre-season tour in 2015 or 2016.

England head coach Trevor Bayliss paid tribute to Strauss’ dedication.

“I thought the work he did right through that period from when I first started, he really ran things,” he said.

“He didn’t leave any stones unturned, he drove that new era with the white ball team.”

Andy Flower, who as England coach from 2009 to 2014 shared in Strauss’ successes, said he could not “think of a man more worthy of the honour”.

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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 chief executive Tom Harrison added: “Aside from his achievements on and off the pitch, Andrew is widely regarded as an exceptional person in our game and this wonderful accolade will be celebrated around the cricketing world.”

Strauss represented Middlesex from 1998 to 2012 and the county’s chairman Mike O’Farrell described his knighthood as “wonderful recognition for a person who has done so much for cricket at so many levels and who in the face of personal tragedy continues to focus on doing good for others through the Ruth Strauss Foundation”.

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