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Ex-Kiwi cricket captain Fleming says Order of Merit a proud achievement

Wellington , Sat, 06 Aug 2011 ANI

Wellington (New Zealand), Aug.6 (ANI): Former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming has received the insignia of an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit from Governor-General Anand Satyanand, and said that Government House is right up there, as far as ceremony and protocol with Lord's is concerned.


"When the award was first announced, it was a very proud day for me. It took a while for it to sink in," Fleming, a resident of Khandallah, told the Dominion Post.


Yesterday's presentation day was a day to celebrate "in a quiet sort of a way," he said.


The award citation described Fleming as New Zealand's youngest cricket captain when he was appointed to the role as a 23-year-old.


Fleming retired in 2007 as captain after leading the New Zealand team in 80 test matches.


Fleming, 38, also paid tribute to New Zealand netball captain Casey Williams, John Graham and others honoured alongside him at yesterday's ceremony.


"I enjoyed hearing about the achievements of others. It is not something we necessarily do all that well," he said.


Williams, a Commonwealth Games netball gold medallist in 2006 and 2010, was also enrolled as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Her citation described her as "one of the best defenders in world netball".


Graham received his knighthood for services to education and sport.


The former All Blacks captain was president of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union from 2005-07. He was also manager of the New Zealand cricket team, ironically when Fleming was captain.


His knighthood came on top of a previous honour - Commander of the Order of the British Empire. (ANI)


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