Cricket recognised in New Year’s Honours List
ECB chairman Giles Clarke, former international umpire Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird, ECB disability cricketer of the year Umesh Valjee and disability cricket pioneer Jeffrey Levick have all been honoured in the New Year’s Honours List announced today.
Clarke, who has been ECB chairman since 2007, received a CBE for services to cricket while Bird was awarded an OBE for services to cricket and charity. The former Yorkshire and Leicestershire batsman was a first-class umpire for 28 years and officiated in 68 Test matches and three World Cup finals. He has previously been awarded an MBE.
Valjee, who captained England’s deaf cricketers to victory in the T20 tri-series in Australia earlier this year, scoring three centuries, received an MBE together with Levick, chairman of Hampshire Cricket Board.
Levick, who has been involved in grass-roots cricket for more than 50 years, chairs the ECB’s Regional Disability Cricket Development Forum for the south and west and has been instrumental in developing disability cricket in the Hampshire region.
Clarke said: “This has been a marvellous year for cricket at all levels with the England team becoming the world’s number one ranked Test side, a memorable finish to our county season and a five per cent growth in participation at grass-roots level in our national network of ECB focus clubs.
“The entire game will be pleased to see that the excellent work which is being done to promote disability cricket has been acknowledged and, of course, that one of our most popular and best-loved umpires has received further national recognition.
“These awards are a tremendous accolade for cricket in this country and will provide a real boost for all those who work tirelessly to promote our national summer sport.”