Former Bedford schoolboy Alastair Cook to get a knighthood

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Old Bedford School pupil Alastair Cook CBE will be knighted in the New Year honours, becoming the first England cricketer to receive a knighthood for a decade.

Alastair joined Bedford School as a boarder in 1998, when he was 13. However, his first love was not cricket - but music.

He came as a music scholar from St Paul’s Cathedral School where he was a chorister. He also played the clarinet to grade eight and went on to learn the piano and saxophone.

“However, music soon took a back seat when the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) came to play against our 1st XI. The visitors were a man short and Alastair stepped in, scoring a century against his new school,” said a school spokesman,

Alistair’s early promise flourished throughout the years,as he notched up seventeen centuries and two double-hundreds to total 4,396 runs at an average of 87.90.

In his final year at the school he captained the cricket team and scored 1,287 runs for Bedford School, including two unbeaten double-hundreds, averaging 160.87 to take the school record.

Meanwhile he was also President of the Music Society.

Alastair, pictured in his schooldays, went on to become England’s greatest-ever batsman. When he retired from Test cricket at the end of this summer he had scored more runs, more centuries and more half-centuries than any other player from these shores in history. He is also England’s most-capped player in Test matches.

The Bedford School spokesman 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.”