London: Ian Botham swapped Lord’s for the House of Lords when he was introduced as a peer on Monday.
The England cricket great donned the traditional scarlet and ermine-trimmed robe and swore the oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony that didn’t go according to plan initially.
Technical problems delayed the start of proceedings, with the speaker saying Botham’s words could not be heard outside the House.
“I think rain has stopped play just for the moment,” Lord Fowler said — in a nod to cricket parlance — to laughs in the chamber.
Botham is a Brexit supporter who was one of 36 new peers nominated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in August. He will sit as a non-party peer in the Lords, whose members are mostly political appointees, with a smattering of hereditary nobles, judges and clergy.
Referred to as Baron Botham of Ravensworth, his home village, in the chamber, the former cricketer will be known as Lord Botham.
“I, Ian Lord Botham, do swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and her successors, according to the law. So help me God,” he told the House.
Botham is one of England’s greatest sport stars, retiring in 1992 with 102 matches, 383 wickets and 5,200 runs in test cricket. He is best known for career-defining displays in the comeback victory over Australia in the 1981 Ashes series.
He has been a TV commentator since retirement.
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