Cook collects MBE

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Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook poses with his MBE awarded for his vital role, 766 runs in seven innings, during England's 3-1 Ashes win last winter

Alastair Cook was presented with an MBE by the Queen today for his outstanding performance in England’s Ashes triumph last winter.

The opening batsman’s prolific scoring helped England win 3-1 – their first victory in Australia for 24 years.

Cook, 26, made 766 runs in seven innings and went past 5,000 in Tests – the second-youngest batsman to reach the impressive total after India’s Sachin Tendulkar.

Cook, who has helped England become the top-ranked Test team, was presented with the honour at a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

“It’s been a fantastic couple of years for the England cricket team and for me to be here and get the MBE is an honour - I feel very humble to be given it,” he said.

“We’ve achieved some fantastic things - the aim now is to try and continue that success.”

The left-hander followed in the footsteps of Test captain Andrew Strauss and team director Andy Flower, who have both received OBEs for their efforts in guiding England to victory over Australia.

Cook, England's one-day international skipper, added: “We’ve had fantastic leadership under Andy Flower and Andy Strauss, and we’ve been outstanding. The aim now is to maintain that.

“Everyone is desperately determined to continue to remain at the top and a lot of hard work is needed and we’re going to have to scrap very hard in a lot of games.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence from what we’ve achieved but hopefully it’s not the end of it.”

Cook described his best Ashes moment as the last Australia wicket at Sydney, which secured series victory.

“When Chris Tremlett got the final wicket, all that hard work had paid off, and to have contributed in such an important series meant a lot,” he said. “As an Englishman playing against Australians in Australia, it was great to win.”

Speaking about his brief chat with the Queen during the presentation, he added: “She knew about the success over the last two years and knew where we were in the rankings, so it’s nice to know she follows cricket.”

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