Alastair Cook trumpeted as England's next cricketing knight

What was it like when England last played a Test without Cook? (1:10)

You have to go back 12 years to find an English Test side not featuring Alastair Cook. A lot has changed since then (1:10)

Arise, Sir Alastair? He was England's hero in whites for more than a decade, a record-breaking run-scorer and distinguished former captain, but Alastair Cook could be in line for even higher honours after being proposed for an early knighthood.

Cook retired from England duty in September, having amassed 12,472 Test runs and 33 hundreds - both records for England. In his final Test, against India at The Oval, he signed off with innings of 71 and 147 amid widespread acclaim for his impact on the game.

Now the wheels have been set in motion that could one day see him knighted. Last month, a member of the House of Lords tabled a parliamentary question, "to ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to recomending Alastair Cook for knighthood".

Lord Tyrie has also written to the authorities in charge of the honours list, according to a report in the Metro newspaper. "It is not just that Alastair Cook is unquestionably the best batsman England have produced in recent years but that he can make a massive contribution as an ambassador for cricket at home and abroad," Tyrie said. "Nobody would be more deserving."

Ian Botham is currently the only living English cricketer in possession of a knighthood - although his was awarded for services to charity - while the likes of West Indians Garry Sobers and Viv Richards, and New Zealander Richard Hadlee have received the honour.

The government has unsurprisingly remained tight-lipped about the possibility - but if 33-year-old Cook were to be singled out, it might raise an eyebrow in Yorkshire, where many believe Geoffrey Boycott is long overdue a knighthood for his services to the game as a player and commentator.