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Sir Ian becomes Lord Botham after being awarded peerage

Sir Ian Botham, pictured commentating for Sky in 2018, has been awarded a peerage Getty Images

Sir Ian Botham is set to join the House of Lords after being awarded a life peerage, the UK government has announced.

Botham is among 18 new political peers announced on Friday, and will sit as a crossbench (independent) peer. His appointment was widely anticipated after a story in the Times earlier this month which revealed Prime Minister Boris Johnson would mark his first anniversary in the role by "rewarding Brexit loyalists with peerages".

He is the first cricketer to be awarded a peerage since the pioneering women's captain Rachael Heyhoe-Flint in 2011, following David Sheppard, Colin Cowdrey and Learie Constantine as others who have been honoured.

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Botham has been an active charitable campaigner since his retirement from the game, raising tens of millions of pounds for research into leukaemia after being staggered to learn that children were dying of the disease when he took a wrong turn in a hospital during his playing career. He was knighted in 2007 in the Queen's birthday honours.

He played 102 Tests and 116 ODIs for England between 1977 and 1992, and until 2015 remained their leading Test wicket-taker. He has been chairman of Durham since 2017, and was a regular on Sky's cricket coverage as a commentator until the end of last summer's Ashes series.