sport

Croft: MBE a massive honour

Welsh cricket veteran Robert Croft called for more of his country's youngsters to come through in the sport as he was awarded an MBE.

Croft, 42, was given the award by the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to cricket during his 23-year career with Glamorgan and England.

The off-spin bowler said cricket was competing for "a piece of the pie'' with rugby and football in Wales.

"We have to make sure we give children the opportunity to play cricket with as many schemes as possible,'' he said.

"Once you give people a taste, that is the initial thing you have to do and

then try to keep them.''

Croft, who was born in Swansea, said his award was "not only an honour for the family but I hope it serves as a bit of a boost and encouragement to cricket in Wales particularly because we haven't had many people who have achieved this over the years''.

Despite decades of competitive cricket and playing in front of thousands, he still felt anxious going before the Queen on Thursday.

"I thought I had got rid of all the nerves when the cricket finished,'' he

said.

"It is a massive honour but it is sweaty palms time.''