Opening batsman honored for contribution towards the sport
Former England cricket captain Alastair Cook received knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
Cook — who has more Test centuries (33) and runs (12,472) than any other England player accrued during a record 161 Test matches — is the first cricketer to be knighted since legendary all-rounder Ian Botham in 2007.
The 34-year-old opening batsman finished his Test career in the best possible manner with a century against India at The Oval despite having declared there “was nothing left in the tank”.
“It’s a fitting tribute to a man who has led with distinction on and off the pitch every since he made his England debut,” England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves said in a statement to Press Association Sport.
Football did not miss out, with England manager Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane rewarded for the national side’s run to this year’s World Cup semi-finals.
Southgate, whose sartorial elegance in Russia saw sales of waistcoats rocket, received the middle-ranking Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) whilst Tottenham Hotpsur sharpshooter Kane garnered the lesser Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Kane, who won the World Cup Golden Boot for finishing top scorer with six goals, said he learnt of his award from his fiancee Kate just prior to a Premier League game with Southampton in early December.
“We got a letter to the house, Kate opened the letter.” he told Spurs TV.
“Normally we’d talk a little but she would never call me just before the match. I had a missed call and she texted me ‘could you answer?’.
“I thought something was wrong! But Kate was excited and told me that we’d had a letter from the Queen saying we’d get an MBE.”