A former Scotland cricketer who is now an MSP has described becoming a CBE in the New Year Honours list as the “greatest privilege”.

Conservative Liz Smith said her royal recognition for services to sport was “completely unexpected”.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP received the honour more than two decades after making her debut for Scotland in the sport she is “passionate” about.

READ MORE: BBC flooded with complaints about Michelle Mone interview

Ms Smith won seven caps with the Scottish Ladies’ Cricket XI and is also a former president of the Scottish Women’s Cricket Association.

She no longer plays professionally but is still involved in the sport through coaching.

The MSP, who was elected to Holyrood in 2007, has also climbed all 282 Munros in Scotland and has taken part in several mountaineering expeditions to the Alps and the Himalayas.

READ MORE: Curtice: Yousaf nothing like as popular as Sturgeon as first minister

She said: “It is the greatest privilege to be honoured with a CBE for services to sport.

“It was completely unexpected, and I want to publicly thank those who nominated me.

“Sport has always been a very large part of my life but so too has working with so many wonderful volunteers who do so much to ensure sport is available to all, most especially at the grassroots. This honour reflects their dedication.”

Her Conservative colleague Pam Gosal, pictured below, meanwhile, is made an MBE for services to business and racial equality.

The Herald: Pam shares her thoughts on Humza Youssaf's announcement to freeze council tax

Elected as an MSP for West Scotland region in May 2021, she made history by becoming the first Indian Sikh MSP and one of the first women of colour in the Scottish Parliament.

She is working on increasing diversity within the Conservative Party, and is the co-founder and co-chair of the Scottish Conservative Friends of BAME group.

Prior to being elected, Ms Gosal helped run her family’s business after the sudden death of her father “thrust me into the business world as a teenager”.

Speaking about her MBE, she said: “It is the honour of my lifetime to be given this award from His Majesty the King.

“I never expected that someone from my background, after losing my father and big sister in my teenage years and leaving school without any qualifications, would be in this position today.

“I am very grateful to receive this award and proud to have my hard work recognised.

“Thank you to everyone who helped me to promote charities, support businesses, and improve racial equality.

“This award has given me even more motivation to continue my work and I look forward to helping more charities and businesses in 2024 and beyond.”