England great Alastair Cook has received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours. The 34-year-old becomes the 11th Englishman to be knighted for services to cricket.
The announcement comes off the back of a summer in which Cook bowed out of the international game as England’s all-time leading run-scorer and the fifth-highest run-scorer in the history of the men’s Test game.
Cook – who delivered one of the moments of the summer by signing off with his 33rd and final Test ton – is one of four people associated with the game to receive a New Year’s Honour.
Enid Bakewell, a legend of the women’s game, has received an MBE, while Alvin Kallicharran and Peter Wynne-Thomas have both been recognised with a British Empire Medal.
Bakewell, who enjoyed a 14-year England career, won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1973 and was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2012.
ECB chairman Colin Graves:
“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.
“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.
“It’s also fantastic news for Enid Bakewell, Peter Wynne-Thomas and Alvin Kallicharran. All three of them have contributed hugely to our great sport and we congratulate them on their honours.”
ECB chief executive officer Tom Harrison:
“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. 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.
“Since he was flown out to Nagpur as a last-minute replacement he’s poured every ounce of his commitment into English cricket. His final century was incredibly special and will live with everyone who witnessed it for a long time.
“He has given everything to this sport and he’s done so in a way that embodies much of what is great about cricket. While the list of his records may never be passed, it is his contribution as a person and as a leader that will go beyond even his statistical achievements.
“It is a rare honour and one that he richly deserves.
“I am also delighted for Enid Bakewell. Her career on the field was hugely impressive, and the landscape of the women’s game was markedly different during that time, which makes her achievements all the more significant.
“She was an inspiration and a trail-blazer and her passion for cricket has never dimmed.She has served the game with distinction and she has for a long time been a real driver of women’s cricket. Our achievements today are built on the hard work of people like Enid.”