Alastair Cook has had a tough time as India toured England this summer. The former England captain was nowhere close to his best form as he struggled to face the Indian side. As calls for his axing drew louder, Cook announced his retirement, and his last match is the fifth Test against India, one that’s currently underway. Many legends of the game have retired from their final match without scoring a run. But for Cook, it was a pleasantly different story. Proving he still has it in him and that he cannot yet be written off, Cookie scored a century on his final innings scripting a series of interesting trivia.
England's Alastair Cook walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket for 147 runs on the fourth day of the fifth Test cricket match between England and India at The Oval in London on September 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS /
According to the International Cricket Council, he is now the fifth batsman in the world to have scored a century at his first and last innings. The last cricketer to pull that off was Mohammad Azharuddin.
Tallying over 12,400 runs, Cook is now the fifth highest run scorer in Tests, after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, and Rahul Dravid. In the process, he broke the record of Kumar Sangakkara. Not bad for someone who was once touted to be the Sachin Tendulkar of English cricket.
Nicknamed Chef, Cook scored his maiden Test century in 2006 against India, and now his final Test century arrived against the same opposition.
The 33-year-old scored his final and thirty-third century as the crowd rose to a long, standing ovation. His last match saw the crowd rise to their feet as he entered the field. Among those present at the stands was his wife Alice, who is pregnant with their third child, along with their two children.
England's Alastair Cook celebrates his century during play on the fourth day of the fifth Test cricket match between England and India at The Oval in London on September 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS /
Chef’s route to triple figures was not without drama, as the crowd heaved a sigh of relief when he was dropped at silly point at 72. His century came off an overthrow from Jasprit Bumrah, and his grand total of 147 included as many as four of them!
England's Alastair Cook plays a shot on the fourth day of the fifth Test cricket match between England and India at The Oval in London on September 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB
Caught by Rishab Pant off a Hanuma Vihari delivery, Alastair was the ‘highest scorer by someone in their final Test,’ per ICC. As it stands, the English legend ends his day with 161 Tests, 33 centuries and an average of 45.35. A fitting end to an entertaining cricketer, thank you Chef.