England cricket great Botham to be made a peer: report

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LONDON (AFP) – England cricket great Ian Botham is to be made a Lord by Boris Johnson as a reward for his support of Brexit, according to a report in The Times.

The newspaper said Botham would be among 30 new life peers announced by British Prime Minister Johnson to mark his first year at 10 Downing Street.

Botham, one of cricket s most outstanding all-rounders with 5,283 Test runs and 383 wickets, publicly backed the Brexit campaign and appeared alongside Johnson before the 2016 referendum that saw Britons vote to leave the European Union.

There was no immediate comment from Downing Street.

The 64-year-old Botham is currently officially known as “Sir Ian” after he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 for services to charity — he has raised millions of pounds, mainly for leukaemia research — as well as cricket.

Being made a peer would mean Botham became a member of the unelected House of Lords, one of the two chambers of Britain s parliament alongside the democratically elected House of Commons.

If elevated to the peerage, Botham would also be the ninth Test cricketer to sit in the Lords.

That list includes the late former England captains David Sheppard and Colin Cowdrey, West Indies Learie Constantine — Britain s first black peer back in 1969 — and former England women s captain Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who died three years ago.

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