12 Facts about Andrew Strauss - The Archetypical Captain
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A stylish and effective opening batsman, Andrew Strauss has etched his name into the history books of England cricket. After being handed the captaincy, Strauss broke a plethora of records that eventually saw him become one of the most important members in the England game. A man of very few words, Strauss always let his bat do the talking. England is yet to find an opening partner for Alastair Cook following his retirement. On his 39th birthday, we take a look at 12 interesting facts about Andrew Strauss.
1. The tormentor from Transvaal:
Andrew John Strauss was born on the 2nd of March 1977 at Johannesburg, Transvaal Province, South Africa.
2. An interesting Muppet resemblance:
Andrew Strauss is commonly known as Muppet, due to his resemblance with the muppet, a famous cartoon character. Other nicknames include Levi, Mareman, The Captain and Straussy.
3. Early life:
Andrew Strauss moved to England at the age of six. He qualified for England citizenship through his mother who was British. He first played cricket while in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Strauss came back to England and was educated at two independent schools in Southern England: first at Caldicott School, a boys’ prep school near the village of Farnham Royal in Buckinghamshire, followed by Radley College, a public boarding school for boys also situated in Oxfordshire.
4. The ‘stand-in for the stand-in’:
Strauss had his first stint as captain in 2006 following injuries to Michael Vaughan and stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff. He performed his duties as captain magnificently as he led England to a home series victory over Pakistan. Despite this, Andrew Flintoff was chosen for the subsequent Ashes series where England was blown to bits 5-0.
5. The 100th Test:
Andrew Strauss has the rare distinction of having his final Test match and his 100th Test coinciding. He also achieved yet another rare feat when he became one of the players to play his debut and final Test at Lords. He scored 20 & 1 in each inning as the visiting South Africans clinched a 51 run win. The match, however, was clouded by a text messaging scandal by Kevin Pietersen.
6. England reach the top:
England reached the top of the ICC Test rankings in the 2008/09 season for the first time in 31 years. This also included an impressive win in the 2009 edition of the Ashes series under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss.
7. Debut at the Lord’s:
The 20th of May 2004 marked a red letter day in the life of Andrew Strauss as he made his debut at the spiritual home of cricket, Lord’s. He smashed his maiden Test century against New Zealand in the first innings and followed it up with 83 in the second innings. The English claimed a 7 wicket win. The match also marked a special occasion for legendary commentator Richie Benaud as the latter commentated in his 500th Test match.
8. O Captain, my captain:
Andrew Strauss was considered for the captain’s job just two years into his Test career. Following an over-achieving stint initially, Strauss was appointed on a full-time basis after the resignation of Kevin Pietersen. He excelled as skipper of the side and holds the distinction of retiring as skipper of the national side.
9. Most successful England captain:
Andrew Strauss is considered as the most successful England captain of his era. He led the Brits into a golden age during his incumbency as captain. His most notable achievement came during the 2009 Ashes tour when he led his side to victory against a mighty Australian side. He captained England for the final 5 years of his career.
10. A ton of wine:
Strauss announced his retirement from cricket on 29 August 2012 after 100 test appearances. As a token of appreciation, his teammates bought him 100 bottles of wine, of which he said, “I think that will furnish me nicely into retirement!”
11. Order of British Empire and Authorship:
Already Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), Strauss was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours. His alma mater, Durham University, conferred the honorary doctorate of DCL upon him in 2011. Strauss has written several books on his professional career, Coming Into Play: My Life in Test Cricket (2006), Testing Times: In Pursuit of the Ashes (2010, with Scyld Berry), Winning the Ashes Down Under: The Captains Story (2011), and an autobiography, Driving Ambition, in 2014.Director for ECB
12. Director for ECB:
He became the Director of Cricket for England cricket team in 2015, soon before the sacking of Peter Moores. His first assignment was to lead England out of a horrific World Cup campaign.
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