Sir Andrew Strauss has praised England’s Cricket World Cup “heroes”, and credited last summer’s tournament with “enticing” more people to the sport.
Hailing Ben Stokes and the rest of the winning team, the former England captain said the game is “changing and evolving” as he collected a knighthood for services to sport at Buckingham Palace.
He said: “That World Cup victory on home soil did everything we hoped it might, it reached a broader section of the public, and the way that game panned out.
“The heroes that were forged off the back of it, I’m thinking Ben Stokes and the massive transformation he’s had, it’s extraordinary to see that.”
🏏 Congratulations Sir Andrew Strauss! pic.twitter.com/fGDpN2kdbH
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) January 14, 2020
Sir Andrew also spoke to the Duke of Cambridge at Tuesday’s ceremony as William handed out the latest awards.
Asked whether cricketers could soon have the superstar status of football players, Sir Andrew said he thought they were “a long way off that”, but did think player profiles were rising.
He added: “For Ben Stokes to win Sports Personality of the Year is a massive step forward for cricket as well.
“You want to create heroes, because by creating heroes that entices people to play the sport.
“We’re going in the right direction, but those big players of ours, with an increase in profile comes an increase in responsibility to be good ambassadors for the game.”