Cricketer Sam Curran: MBE is the biggest honour of my life

England and Surrey cricketer Sam Curran has said being made an MBE ranks higher than any other award he has received.

Curran, 26, was honoured by the King during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours.

Part of the England team that won the 2022 T20 World Cup, Curran took the most wickets for England that year and was named player of the tournament.

After the investiture ceremony he said: “I think it’s got to be the biggest honour, an award like that and playing cricket all my life. This has got to rank right at the top.

“It’s such an incredible honour and to be recognised for some of the things I’ve done in cricket is incredibly special.”

Curran said regaining a place in the England Test team was still his ambition, adding: “I haven’t played much Test cricket in the last few years but any form of the game to play for England is a huge honour.

“I’m always looking to get back in the team and I just keep trying to perform and do my best.”

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Sam Curran with his mother Sarah (left) and partner Isabella after being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the King (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He added that he prefers Test cricket to the IPL (Indian Premier League), saying: “They’re both fantastic games in their own way. Very different but I think the dream is always to play Test cricket.”

Curran said James Anderson’s impending retirement from Test cricket after England’s series opener against the West Indies this week would be an “incredibly emotional moment”, adding: “He’s someone I’ve looked up to for a long time.”

He also said he was “incredibly proud” of Jamie Smith who will make his Test debut this week.

He said: “Jamie is someone I’ve played a lot of cricket with throughout my age group stuff at Surrey so incredibly proud of him and the same as Gus Atkinson making his debut tomorrow as well, so two really special talents.

“I think Jamie will be a really big future with England and I’m sure he’s going to have an incredible career with England.”

Investitures at Windsor Castle
Chef Adam Handling with his son Oliver, after being made an MBE by the King (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Award-winning chef Adam Handling was also honoured at Windsor on Wednesday and said the King had told him “it’s good for someone in hospitality to be noticed”.

Handling, who won the BBC series Great British Menu in 2023 and was a finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013, was made an MBE.

He said: “This year has been a whirlwind of a year for me, but this for sure is that cherry on the cake of everything that I’ve ever come close to winning or have won. It’s a ‘pinch me’ moment for sure.

“I’m a huge royalist, I’m all about Britain … so to be noticed by the King, there is no one else I need to prove it to any more.”

He added that he would “100%” want to cook for Charles in future.