Sir Alastair Cook: Former England captain knighted

After retiring from international cricket this year, former England captain Alastair Cook has been knighted in the New Year's Honours.

Former England captain Alastair Cook, pictured with the Ashes urn in 2015   -  Getty Images

Former England captain Alastair Cook has been knighted following his retirement from international cricket.

Cook stepped away from the international stage in picture-perfect fashion with a century – his 33rd for England – against India on his farewell appearance at The Oval in September.

He retired as his country's all-time leading run-scorer, with only four men having amassed more in the longest format.

And the opener, who will continue to play county cricket for Essex next year, will become Sir Alastair after featuring in the Queen's New Year Honours.

"Alastair Cook has given so much to English cricket and I'm delighted that he has received this honour," said ECB chairman Colin Graves. "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.

 

"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."

Ex-England rugby captain Bill Beaumont also received a knighthood, while the manager of the nation's football team Gareth Southgate was awarded an OBE and skipper Harry Kane an MBE after their run to the World Cup semifinals.