Cricket great Alastair Cook knighted after record-breaking career
Last Updated: 29/12/18 9:32am
Former England captain Alastair Cook has been given a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.
Cook retired from international cricket earlier this year - and he went out in memorable fashion, scoring 147 in his final Test innings as England completed a 4-1 series win over India.
That was Cook's 33rd Test century and he finished his England career with 12,472 runs from 161 Test matches, which are both national records.
Cook made a century on his Test debut - also against India - in 2006, and scored particularly heavily during memorable overseas wins in Australia (2010-11) and India (2012).
He also captained England on a record 59 occasions, before stepping down in February 2017.
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Awarded an MBE in 2011 and a CBE five years later for services to the sport, he is now part of a very exclusive club of former England cricketers to receive a knighthood.
England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves said: "Alastair Cook has given so much to English cricket and I'm delighted that he has received this honour.
"It's a fitting tribute to a man who has led with distinction on and off the pitch, ever since he made his England debut.
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"The statistics across that time tell the story of his special ability - as do the winners' medals and Ashes trophies - but he is also someone who's been a great role model for our sport.
"We're very fortunate to have had Alastair in English cricket and we're very grateful for his contributions to the game."
Sir Ian Botham was the last former England man to be knighted 11 years ago - although the great all-rounder was bestowed the honour not only for his impact in cricket, but also in recognition of his tireless charity work
Cook has also taken part in several charitable ventures and is a patron of the David Randall Foundation, named in honour of a childhood friend who died of cancer at the age of 27.
Cook, who turned 34 on Christmas Day, will continue to play county cricket, having signed a three-year deal to carry on playing for Essex.