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Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook hit three tons in England's Ashes triumph and 766 runs altogether

Ashes player of the series Alastair Cook has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

The Essex opening batsman, who scored a mammoth 766 runs in England’s 3-1 series win over Australia, follows in the footsteps of captain Andrew Strauss.

Cook, who will receive the accolade at a ceremony later this year, said: “I am greatly honoured and privileged to be given the Freedom of London for doing something I love... beating the Aussies. I would like to thank all those involved with this decision.”

The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade.

Today it is offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life.

Centuries ago Cook could have used the honour to drive sheep over London Bridge, or be drunk and disorderly in the City without fear of arrest, but these traditional privileges no longer exist.

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