Kyle McCallan awarded MBE

Recently retired Irish cricket international Kyle McCallan has been awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to cricket.

McCallan (34), played a record 226 times for Ireland between 1996 and 2009, captaining the team on 54 occasions..

The off-spinner captured 256 wickets for his country, placing him third on the all-time list behind Dermott Monteith and Jimmy Boucher.

In addition he scored 3616 runs, which also sees him occupy third position on the all-time list, behind Stephen Warke and Ivan Anderson.

McCallan retired from international cricket last year following the three run defeat by England in a one-day international in Belfast, citing family and career commitments - he is a schoolteacher at Grosvenor School in Belfast.

McCallan is still very much a force in local domestic cricket - at one stage this season he had scored an incredible 607 runs for his club Waringstown without being dismissed.

Speaking of his award yesterday, where he was umpiring in a game at the school, McCallan said; "It's a great honour for me personally, but also my wife and parents. I was privileged to have worn the Irish jersey for over 13 years, and I had some fantastic experiences. I've been fortunate to have made some wonderful friends through cricket, and have memories which I'll cherish. It was quite simply a golden age for Irish cricket."

Ireland team manager Roy Torrens, who himself was honoured in the Queen's Birthday List in 2009, was delighted to hear the news of McCallan's award. He said: "I can not think of another person who is more deserving of the award. He was a magnificent ambassador for Irish cricket, both on and off the field. I'm delighted for him and his family circle - they were wonderful supporters for him throughout his Irish career, and I know just how proud they must feel."

Cricket Ireland Chairman David Williams echoed Torren's sentiments saying: "The award of the MBE to Kyle McCallan is a well deserved honour for one of our most distinguished cricketers. Kyle McCallan served Irish cricket in an exemplary fashion during his 13 year career, and was a perfect role model to both his team-mates and supporters of cricket in Ireland. It's a great honour for both him and Irish cricket."