Sir Andrew Strauss feels James Anderson would be worthy recipient of knighthood

Sir Andrew Strauss has tipped James Anderson to become cricket’s latest knight of the realm but believes England have picked the right moment to call time on his historic playing career.

Strauss was honoured by Queen Elizabeth in 2019, for services to sport as well as his charity work with the Ruth Strauss Foundation, following his old opening partner Alastair Cook in being recognised by Buckingham Palace.

It seems only a matter of time before ‘Sir Jimmy’ joins his former captains, as the 41-year-old prepares to retire this week as England’s record wicket-taker and most capped player.

Andrew Strauss (left) speaks with James Anderson during day four of the first Test against India at Lord's in summer 2011
Strauss (left) speaks with Anderson during a Test against India at Lord’s in summer 2011 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

And Strauss believes he would be a worthy recipient.

“Very much so! I think any fast bowler that plays 188 Test matches deserves a knighthood, I’ll put it that way,” he said.

Strauss knows Anderson better than most having acted as his team-mate, captain and director of cricket over the past two decades.

It was in the latter post that Strauss famously dropped Anderson and Stuart Broad for a tour of the West Indies. That may have proved premature, but he feels this summer is the right moment to move on.

“That’s a hard one,” he said. “Jimmy’s still bowling well but there’s a ticking clock there for the next Ashes.

“At some stage you’ve got to juggle the needs for the future with the needs for the present. So I can understand why they’ve chosen this as the right time to do that.

“To me, the next Ashes is too far away for Jimmy. People have written him off many times, including myself probably, but that does feel too far down the road.

“And so at some stage you’ve got to start planning for that. The boots that need to be filled are immense, but I can understand why this is the right time.”

Strauss will be on hand to see Anderson off in person, with the home of cricket turning ‘Red for Ruth’ on Thursday as he continues to generate funds and awareness for the charity he set up in memory of his late wife.

Sir Andrew Strauss wearing his 'Red for Ruth' suit applauds during day two of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s last summer
Sir Andrew Strauss wearing his ‘Red for Ruth’ at Lord’s last summer (Mike Egerton/PA)

In the six years around £5million has been raised by the Ruth Strauss Foundation, which offers pre-bereavement counselling for families facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, training for healthcare professionals and peer-to-peer support networks.

“Most of what I’ve done in my career, achievement-wise, has been about me but this isn’t,” Strauss said.

“This is about a need that we can help fill and I feel very proud we are carrying out Ruth’s wishes to a certain degree. But our work is only just beginning, really.

“We would struggle to do what we do without this ‘Red for Ruth’ Test match and we are incredibly grateful to the ECB, to Lord’s and to the cricket community for continuing to support us.”

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