ALASTAIR COOK is set to receive a knighthood in the New Year's honours, according to reports.
The former England batsman, 33, retired from international duty this year after a glittering career in which he became the country's all-time leading Test runscorer.
And now The Times reports that the Essex opener will become the 10th cricketer to be knighted and the first since Ian Botham in 2007.
Cook's stellar career ended with a century against India in the final Test of the summer at The Oval.
He is the fifth highest runscorer in Test match history and still playing county cricket for Essex.
Cook was adamant after that fifth Test against India that he will not return to the international scene, even with a home Ashes series on the horizon next summer.
After his last game in September, he said: "The timing (of the retirement) is right and just makes this even more special.
"It is always nice people wanting more than trying to kick you out.”
“There was definitely a lump in my throat at the start and I did shed a tear.
“Ever since I announced my retirement, I hoped to have a good week here, but to top it off with a score was just incredible. Sometimes dreams do come true.”
The Sun on Sunday revealed that England football manager Gareth Southgate is in line for an OBE after guiding the Three Lions to the World Cup semi-finals this year.