Ian Botham, the former England cricketer and crossbench peer, has been appointed a UK trade ambassador to Australia, the government has announced.
He is one of 10 parliamentarians given a new role as a trade envoy, taking the total number of MPs and peers performing unpaid trade ambassador roles to 36.
In a tweet welcoming the appointment, the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, said Botham would “bat for business down under” and help firms seize the opportunities created by the free trade deal with Australia agreed in outline this summer.
Botham is popular with Boris Johnson and his ministers because of his strong support for Brexit and he was given a peerage in the honours list last summer. He is regarded as one of England’s greatest ever cricketers and is well known in Australia, not least because he is credited with almost single-handedly defeating its team in the 1981…