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London honour for Ashes hero Alastair Cook

Australia's Ashes tormentor Alastair Cook has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London. It is yet another honour for England's player of the series, who scored a colossal 766 runs in the team's 3-1 triumph.

cricket Updated: Jan 14, 2011 11:19 IST

Australia's Ashes tormentor Alastair Cook has been awarded the 'Freedom of the City of London'. It is yet another honour for England's player of the series, who scored a colossal 766 runs in the team's 3-1 triumph.

Now the 26-year-old opener, who plays for county side Essex, east of London, has followed in the footsteps of England captain Andrew Strauss in receiving the London award.

Cook, who will be presented with the accolade at a ceremony later this year, said yesterday: "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 date back to the 13th century, when it enabled recipients to carry out trade.

But now it is offered to individuals by the Corporation of the City of London to celebrate a significant achievement or honour an outstanding contribution to London life.

Cook, not required for England's ongoing one-day series in Australia, has returned home and is set to assist with lambing on the farm owned by his girlfriend's parents.

But he won't be allowed to drive sheep over London Bridge, or be drunk and disorderly in the City without fear of arrest, as these traditional privileges associated with the Freedom of the City of London no longer exist.