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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 December 2005, 00:01 GMT
England stars thrilled by honours
England captain Michael Vaughan hailed the effort given by the whole side on hearing his Ashes heroes had received New Year Honours.

Vaughan becomes an OBE for England's first Ashes win since 1987 while the rest of the side are appointed MBEs.

Vaughan said: "It was a great team effort and I'm really pleased all the players have been honoured."

And England's Ashes-winning women's team is also recognised with an OBE for captain Clare Connor.

Connor said: "Hopefully the success we've had and the men have had will inspire young boys and girls to take the game up."

Marcus Trescothick
It's only just really sinking in for a lot of us
Marcus Trescothick

Even Paul Collingwood, who only played in the final Test at the Oval, is appointed an MBE.

But there is no recognition for Durham team-mate Gary Pratt, who as a substitute fielder ran out Australian captain Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge.

All-rounder Andrew Flintoff emphasised the team aspect of England's Ashes victory.

"I am pleased the whole team have got one because throughout the Ashes there was somebody different contributing at different times - it was a team effort," he said.

"When you start playing cricket you do it for enjoyment and if you are fortunate to progress you hope that you are good enough to play for England.

"But to win the Ashes and get an MBE for doing it is unbelievable," he said.

Other members of the England set-up recognised in the Honours list include coach Duncan Fletcher and chairman of selectors David Graveney, who both become OBEs.

Vice-captain Marcus Trescothick, who led England in the one-day series in Pakistan in the absence of the injured Vaughan, admitted he was surprised at the award.

"It's not something you expect to happen to you just for playing cricket," he said.

"To be appointed an MBE by your country is a great honour and I think it shows just how much winning the Ashes meant to everybody.

"What happened last summer is something I don't think any of us will ever forget.

"Everywhere we've been since it happened people have come over and wanted to talk about it - it was even happening when we were in Pakistan.

"I think we all knew how big it was for so many people by the reaction to our open-top bus tour around London and after reading the huge viewing figures for that final day at The Oval.

"But it's only just really sinking in for a lot of us.

"England winning the World Cup in 1966 was obviously a massive thing in many people's lives and we achieved something similar last summer.

"We're the team that won back the Ashes and I don't think any of us will ever forget that."

Simon Jones
It's great that cricket is so popular again
Simon Jones
Glamorgan seamer Simon Jones said the award had given him a huge lift after the disappointment of missing the final Ashes Test at The Oval and the recent tour to Pakistan with an ankle injury.

"It's been a frustrating few months for me but to become an MBE is unbelievable," he said.

"When you look at some of the legends who have received awards like this, I never thought I'd be doing the same.

"It's been an awesome summer, one which I'll never forget and it's great that cricket is so popular again because of it - just the other day there were people coming up to me in the supermarket to ask if they could have pictures taken with me."

Bowler Matthew Hoggard, who took 16 wickets in the Ashes campaign, said the honours recognised the public interest shown in the game during a thrilling summer.

"It's very good for English cricket that we've been recognised because it's been a long time since cricket's kicked up such a stir," he said.

"It's a very proud moment for all the team. It's an amazing feeling to be honoured by the Queen."

Graveney, who has been chairman of selectors since 1997, said: "I thought the players quite rightly would be honoured in some way, but for me to also be honoured is amazing.

"When I made my debut for Gloucestershire 33 years ago I certainly didn't expect anything like this to happen.

"As great an honour as it is for me, this is for my family and all the other selectors I've worked with because I've always said it's a team effort.

"You obviously don't do the job for honours, but it's been an extraordinary year in everybody's life and it just shows what an impact beating Australia has had on everyone."

Two unsung heroes of the back-up staff are also recognised with Phil Neale, England's team operations manager, becoming an OBE and Medha Laud, England's international teams administration manager, becoming an MBE.

Interview: England's chairman of selectors David Graveney

Interview: England's Matthew Hoggard


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