London, Jan 14: England opening batsman Alastair Cook has been awarded the 'Freedom of the City of London' following his exploits in the recent historic Ashes win over Australia.
The ancient honour is given to those who have made an outstanding contribution to London life or to reward a significant achievement, and has previously been awarded to England captain Andrew Strauss.
Talking about the award, Cook said: "I am greatly honoured and privileged to be given the Freedom of London for doing something I love ... beating the Aussies."
The award was first bestowed in 1237 and originally gave recipients special privileges, such as avoiding arrest if found intoxicated by police. Nowadays, it is a more symbolic gesture, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Cook had scored 766 runs in the five-match series in Australia, and is now second on the all-time tally for runs scored by an English batsmen in a series, behind only the great Wally Hammond (905) in 1928/29.
The 26-year-old was named Man of the Series for his performance, which helped England win 3-1.
It was the visitors' first Test series win in Australia since the 1986-87 tour.