Former England captain Alastair Cook, who retired as the highest scorer in Test cricket for his country, has been conferred knighthood and thus becomes the latest cricketer to have been received the honour.

The opener, who will continue to play county cricket for Essex next year, will become Sir Alastair after featuring in the Queen's New Year Honours.

"Alastair Cook has given so much to English cricket and I'm delighted that he has received this honour," said ECB chairman Colin Graves. "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," he further added.

Scored a century in his final Test innings

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook become only the fifth batsman to score a ton in his maiden and farewell Tests.Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Cook, who said he has nothing left in his tank in the series against India, scored a memorable century in his final appearance at the Oval as England clinched the match and series 4-1.

Cook, who made his international debut back in 2006, has received this honour for his services to English cricket and is the first cricketer to be conferred with knighthood since Ian Botham in 2007.

He made 12,472 Test runs and 33 Test centuries - and leads the charts in both the rosters. He also led England in 59 Tests and is a 4-time Ashes winner. Considered to be a man of great mental grit, Cook faced a lot of flak right during his career but kept coming back with impressive innings.

"After much thought and deliberation over the last few months, I have decided to announce my retirement from international cricket at the end of this Test series against India," Alastair Cook said in a statement while announcing his retirement from the game.