Alastair Cook has shattered plenty of records in his 12-year career for the England cricket team. There was a massive void in the cricketing world when he announced his retirement from the international arena during the final Test against India at The Oval in September this year. However, the left-handed opening batsman, who played a vital role in England’s ascension as the top Test side in the middle of the first decade, is all set to get a special honour on New Year’s Day. Cook, nicknamed the Chef, is all set to be rechristened as Sir Alastair Cook as he will be awarded the knighthood for his contributions to the game of cricket.
In a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board, the current chairman of the Board Colin Graves paid tribute to Cook and said the honour was well deserved. “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,” Graves said.
Cook bowed out of international cricket in grand style with a century in his last innings during the Oval Test against India. He ended his career in the same way that he had begun against the same opponents in 2006. During his debut in the Nagpur Test, he slammed 60 and 104 while in the 2018 Oval Test which was his final game, he hit 71 and 147. He finished with 12472 runs at an average of 45.35 with 33 centuries. He is the leading run-getter for England in Tests while he is fifth in the all-time list. He is also the leading century-maker for England in the longest format.
There have been several memorable moments in Cook’s career. His 766 runs in the 2010/11 Ashes helped England beat Australia for the first time in a series Down Under after 24 years. Under his captaincy, Cook led from the front in the series against India with three centuries as England registered a Test series win in India after 28 years. Cook was part of four Ashes series triumphs and he is one of the rare players to have hit a century in all the five major grounds in Australia.
Along with Cook, Enid Bakewell, Peter Wynne-Thomas and Alvin Kallicharran will be the other former cricketers to receive special honours.