Former England captain Alastair Cook who announced his retirement from cricket in September 2018, is all set to receive a knighthood, according to reports published in The Times. At the age of 33, the left-handed opener, who is also the country's all-time leading Test runscorer bid adieu to the game during the five-match Test series against India which the hosts won 4-1.
If the reports are to be believed the Essex opener will become the 10th English cricketer to be knighted and the first since Ian Botham in 2007. Cook had a fairytale ending to his career, signing off with a match-winning century against Virat Kohli's team at The Oval.
Though he still plays for the county in the domestic matches, the gritty opener had clarified that he had no intentions of returning to the international circuit even though the highly anticipated Ashes series of 2019 was less than a year away.
5th Test: Cook gets perfect farewell, Anderson scripts history as England beat India to clinch series 4-1
An elegant and gutsy player, Cook left the international game holding a slew of national records in Tests: most runs (12,472), most appearances (161), most centuries (33) and most Tests at captain (59). He played in 159 straight Tests — a world record — and captained England from 2012-17, during which the team won back-to-back home Ashes series and a first series victory in India in 27 years. He is also the fifth highest runscorer in Test match history.
Cook made his Test debut in March 2006 as a late replacement for Michael Vaughan and made an unbeaten 104 in the second innings. He missed the third Test of that series because of illness but didn't miss a single one after that.
He will be remembered, among other things, for the graceful way he often tucked the ball off his hips for a single. He had a rare ability to bat for long periods — he has five double-centuries in Tests — without losing focus and concentration whatever the conditions. And he almost always pulled out a big score when it was most needed, for the team and also for himself to get over dips in form.
Cook surpassed his own mentor, Graham Gooch, when he exceeded 8,900 Test runs three years ago and that meant so much. As a 7-year-old, Cook lined up to get Gooch's autograph outside Essex's ground and they went on to become close friends.
(With AP inputs)