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HomeCricketAlastair Cook retires: A tribute to a fine cricketer and person

Alastair Cook retires: A tribute to a fine cricketer and person

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Alastair Cook retires: A tribute to a fine cricketer and person Cricket Blog CricBlog

The end has come for one of England’s finest. It has been one hell of an innings.

Alastair Cook has announced the fifth Test at The Oval vs India will be his last. With a world-record 158 consecutive Test appearances out of his 160, 59 as captain and 12,254 runs, here lies a player who is arguably unmatched in terms of his contribution to the England shirt.

It is time to celebrate the career of not only a fine batsman, but a great person.

Not the most naturally talented, Alastair Cook always worked hard on his game, displaying true grit and powers of concentration time and time again; the basis of truly classic innings over the years. His dedication and humility has made him a respected figure, not just among his own fans, but rival ones, including myself and surely millions of others.

Whether it’s the Ashes of 2010/11, the famous tour of India in 2012 or countless others, Alastair Cook gave people reason to believe he could very well pass Sachin Tendulkar’s run tally in Tests. It hasn’t turned out to be the case, but that takes nothing away from a truly superb career.

“I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such along time alongside some of the greats of the English game.”

Cook’s words highlight the kind of man he is. Humble, selfless and respectful of others, which showed in his cricketing journey over the years.

A rousing ovation and guard of honour awaits him at The Oval. And deservedly so.

In this piece, I will explore five of my favourite Alastair Cook innings. Feel free to discuss yours!

104* v India, Nagpur 2006

A debut that confirmed this kid would go onto something great.
Flying from the Caribbean to Nagpur as a last-minute replacement for Marcus Trescothick, 21-year old Cook showed maturity beyond his years in a fantastic Test debut, where he scored 60 and 104*.
The prospect of Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble in Indian conditions would even make established Test batsmen quake in their boots, but Alastair Cook played them expertly, which was the start of a very special Test career in Asia.

235* v Australia, Brisbane 2010

An innings that turned the momentum of that Ashes series.
After Peter Siddle’s amazing hat-trick and Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin’s huge partnership, England were staring down the brink of a 1-0 series deficit in the 2010/11 Ashes.
But, Cook had other ideas, plundering 235* in a total of 517/1d that was the beginning of the second most fruitful series for any England player in history: 766 runs at 127.66.

118 v South Africa, Durban 2009

In one of the most classic Test series I can remember, Cook stood out in Durban along with Ian Bell and Graeme Swann.
On a pitch offering assistance to both seam and spin, Cook was defiant in a superb 401 minute effort that played a huge part in England’s massive innings and 98 run victory.

294 v India, Birmingham 2011

A 773 minute effort that to this day remains Cook’s highest score.
He was simply relentless against a helpless India side that typified the kind of player Cook was – determined, patient and just loved to bat.
This innings helped seal that series against India, who were the world’s number one Test side at that point.

190 v India, Kolkata, 2012

England’s incredible triumph in India was Alastair Cook’s finest ever moment.
He was absolutely phenomenal in that series, and picking my favourite innings out of that series was a tough ask.
His 176 in Ahmedabad in the first Test swung the momentum of the series. England were forced to follow on, and facing a deficit of 330, Cook’s amazing knock helped England get a foothold in the series in which they won 2-1.

Then, his 122 on a raging turner in Mumbai helped England level the series, and he knew it was his time.

This led to my favourite Cook knock – a brilliant 190 in Kolkata in a match where no other player made a century. It only took a freak run-out to end his stay, otherwise he could have batted forever. England took a 2-1 series lead, and ended up rejoicing in one of their finest ever triumphs.
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Along with these five innings, there were others that deserve special mention – his 95 v India in Southampton 2014, 263 v Pakistan in Abu Dhabi 2015, 110 v Pakistan at The Oval 2010 and 148 v Australia in Adelaide 2010 come to mind. 
Alastair Cook has been a truly wonderful player that all associated with England Cricket should appreciate (yes, talking about Piers Morgan…)
For one final time, Alastair Cook will grace Test Cricket. For over a decade, he continued to give his all.
Thank you, Chef.
P.S. I have joined Dream 11, and absolutely can’t wait to start playing. Join in the fun today, with the possibility of winning cash!
Thanks for reading!
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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