It wasn’t the best kept secret, to be fair, but it’s now been confirmed that former Bedford Schoolboy Alastair Cook has received a Knighthood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Cook, who already has the title of MBE and CBE, receives his Knights Bachelor for services to Cricket.
The batsman is England’s all-time leading run-scorer with 12,472 runs. He’s also the fifth-highest run-scorer in the history of the men’s Test game.
In his final test innings at the Oval this summer, he scored the last of his 33 Test hundreds.
In a statement issued via the Press Association (PA), Colin Graves, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, led the praise for Cook: “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 PA also reported on Cook’s reaction to the honour: “I am hugely honoured and proud to be receiving a knighthood,” said Cook “Many people have helped me during my career and without them and fantastic team-mates and coaches it would not have been possible to achieve all that I have.
“I want to thank all those who have been involved and supported me and my family. I will continue to be involved with cricket and intend to try and show what a positive effect sport can have on everyone’s lives.”
In a statement on their website, a spokesperson for Bedford School said: “Alastair has been, and continues to be, a true inspiration to everyone at Bedford School.
“He is, without doubt, a shining example of true sportsmanship, great leadership, personal fortitude and conviction.
“We are hugely proud of all that he has achieved and a knighthood really is the most honourable recognition of his achievements, his character and everything he has given to the sporting world.”
While Cook, who turned 34 on Christmas Day, has retired from international cricket, he will not completely disappear having signed a three-year deal to carry on playing for county side Essex.