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AFP
December 30, 2018

Former England captain Cook knighted

Sports

AFP
December 30, 2018

LONDON: Former England cricket and rugby captains Alastair Cook and Bill Beaumont headlined sporting personalities in the New Years Honours List with both men receiving knighthoods 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.

Beaumont — chairman of the sport’s governing body, World Rugby, — skippered England to the 1980 Five Nations Grand Slam as well as captaining the British and Irish Lions.

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 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.

Another British sporting success story of the year Welshman Geraint Thomas received an OBE after winning road cycling’s showpiece event, the Tour de France.

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