The Legendary Alastair Cook
Aged 33, a legend bids the game goodbye. England lose a player who has served them for twelve years at the international level. Year after year records have tumbled in his presence. The void will take months to fill.
He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game for England. After all, he is the highest Test run-scorer for England and the fifth highest overall. That makes him one of the most prolific batsmen of the modern era.
He made his debut in 2006 against India at Nagpur, scoring 104. Little did anyone know that he’d go on to score his 33rd century against the same opposition in his last Test 12 years later.
He wasn’t considered to be the right choice when he made his debut in 2006. Little did anyone know that he’d score 1,000 runs in just his first year in Test cricket and make centuries in his first Tests against India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the West Indies.
He became the youngest batsman to complete 12,000 runs in Test cricket. No one would have expected that he’d do so at an average of 1,000 Test runs per year and become the highest scoring left-hander in Test history.
He became the youngest Englishman to score 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 Test runs. Little did anyone know he would step up the records and become the youngest player from any country to score 6000, 7,000, 8,000, 9,000, 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Test cricket.
He was made England’s Test captain in 2010. Little did anyone know that he’d lead England in 59 Test matches and 69 ODIs, become England’s most-capped player, and become the first English player to be a part of 50 Test victories.
He won his first Man-of-the-Match award in 2007 against the West Indies. Little did anyone know that he'd go on to be appointed the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2011 and later the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2016 for his services to English cricket.
He became a major part of the England Test side and was a natural selection in every series. Little did anyone know that he’d become a part of four Ashes victories, out of which two would come under his captaincy.
He became a bar-setter and a record breaker during his illustrious career. Little did anyone know that he’d equal Allan Border’s record for appearing in the highest number of consecutive Test matches, with 153, and surpass it to set his own in 2018.
He is now known for scoring the highest number of centuries in Test cricket by a left-handed batsman. Little did anyone know that he’d retire with five double centuries to his name with the highest score of 294 against India.
He played with many of the game’s best and saw many retire around him. Little did anyone know that he too would retire as a legend and an inspiration to many.
Alastair Cook is, indeed, a legend of the game. His hard work and dedication are appreciated around the world. He’s left such a mark on world cricket that every time someone picks up the cricketing record books, they’ll find his name again and again among the greatest of the game.