New Year Honours: Alastair Cook to receive Knighthood
London [UK], Dec 29 (ANI): Former England captain Alastair Cook will receive a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. The 34-year-old, who retired from the Test cricket following the five-match series against India in September, is the first English cricketer to get the honour since Sir Ian Botham in 2007. Overall, Cook is the 11th Englishman to be knighted for services to cricket. The development came after the right-hand batsman ended his cricketing career as the all-time leading run-scorer for England in Test. Reacting on the report, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves said that he is delighted with the development, adding that the honour is a fitting tribute to a person who led his side with distinction both on and off the field. "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," ECB official website quoted Graves, as saying. "We're very fortunate to have had Alastair in English cricket and we're very grateful for his contributions to the game," Graves added. ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison also welcomed the decision saying that Cook is a definition of what a sporting role model should be like. "I am absolutely thrilled that Alastair has been awarded a knighthood for his extraordinary service to cricket and to his country. Alastair is the very definition of what a sporting role model should be - a man who completely embodies what it means to play for England on and off the field and understands the responsibility that goes along with it," Harrison said. "Throughout his long international career, he has set the example for others to follow. We are exceptionally fortunate to have had him represent England since 2006, both as a fearless and record-breaking opening batsman and as one of our most successful captains of all time," he added. Cook, who made his Test debut in 2006 against India, captained England for a record 59 Test matches and led the country to 24 wins in the longest format of the game. He has appeared in a total of 160 Tests for the national side.