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National Selector Geoff Miller awarded OBE for services to cricket

Geoff Miller (right) with former England skipper Andrew Strauss

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England's retiring National Selector Geoff Miller has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

Miller is stepping down on New Year's Day after seven years in the job.

He has overseen England's rise to the top of the international rankings, winning the Ashes three times and the Twenty20 World Cup.

"It very special - it's a great honour, a privilege," said Miller, who in his playing days was an off-spinner for Derbyshire and England.

"I found out when I was in Australia - I was using a different SIM card in my phone over there - and my wife phoned me up.

"I've been involved with England since 1976 and there are very few people who have won the Ashes home and away as both a player and a selector so that's right up there."

Geoff Miller

"I'd received a letter two weeks before and she'd ended up opening it because she thought it looked pretty vital.

"She saw what was in it and phoned me up - I only had three days left to respond!

"It was only a couple of days before I was due to come back so when I returned I did all the responding I needed to. Then I turned on my normal phone - there were lights flashing and things beeping....so that's when I found out.

"I've always been a team man - and this award is down to four teams. The first is my mother and father who wanted me to be a sportsman and backed everything I did.

"And when your father happens to be Keith Miller there's only one sport it's going to be! The family have also backed me - I spend such a long time away from home and they've been superb - my standing down was the right time from an England point of view but they also deserve some time with me as well.

"Then I move on to the world of cricket - there's Derbyshire who've done a lot for me and also a little bit at Essex where I learnt about some of the off-field aspects of the game.

"And then there's England - the back-room team, the selection boys and then the team itself who have produced the goods over the last seven years. This award, this OBE is for all of them as well.

Pride

"My family were very proud and there was a little bit of a celebration - it's been a good Christmas.

"Favourite moments? Winning something with Derbyshire in 1981 - but the main one is being selected for England. Tony Greig saying, 'There's your cap, there's your sweater, you're playing.' To play for your country - to walk out with that cap on - that's the big one.

"I've been involved with England since 1976 and there are very few people who have won the Ashes home and away as both a player and a selector so that's right up there."

England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive David Collier paid a glowing tribute to Miller.

"It's marvellous to see Geoff recognised in this way for the outstanding service he has given to cricket over the past five decades - firstly as a player for Derbyshire, Essex and England, and more recently as our national selector," he said.

"Geoff can reflect with enormous pride on the magnificent contribution he has made to our game - in particular his role in helping deliver three successive Ashes wins and our first ever victory in an ICC global event - the World T20 tournament in the Caribbean in 2010.

"We congratulate Geoff on his achievement and I am sure that today's announcement will be welcomed by his many friends and colleagues within our First Class game as well as by current and former members of the England team."