Former England captain Alastair Cook is set to receive a knighthood in the New Year Honours list, according to a report in The Times.

Cook, whose 34th birthday is on Christmas Day, will be recognised for his contribution to the sport as he becomes the first England cricketer to be knighted since Ian Botham in 2007, the report said.

Cook scored 33 centuries and a total of 12,472 runs in 161 Tests, with each of those statistics standing as England records. He is the fifth-highest Test run scorer of all time.

He signed off in fairytale fashion in September when, batting for the last time before retiring from international cricket, he scored a century against India at the Oval.

Cook, who remains an Essex player, made his Test debut in 2006 against India in Nagpur and also registered a century in that match.

He went on to win the Ashes four times, twice as captain.