The Club pays tribute to an England legend


A true servant to his country, Alastair Cook will bring an end to his International career with England after this week’s Test against India at the Kia Oval.

The Club have paid tribute to him as he gets set for the next chapter of his playing career on a regular basis with Essex.

Essex Cricket Chief Executive, Derek Bowden, said: Alastair has been a great servant to England Cricket and I’m sure it was a tough decision to make after being a prominent mainstay in the team for such a long time. In an international career, which has seen Alastair reach the pinnacle of his sport and breaking all records, his name will be regarded as one the cricketing greats.

Alastair still believes he still has a lot more to give and we are looking forward to seeing Alastair continue his career and enjoy more success at Essex, which I’m sure is a sentiment shared by all Essex Members and supporters.

Club Chairman, John Faragher added: “Alastair will always be remembered as one of England’s greatest cricketers. He holds the records for the highest number of Test runs and is England’s most capped player. In addition, he was an extremely successful England Captain, leading the team to two Ashes series wins and a first Test series win in India for over 28 years. He can feel proud of his International achievements.

“We look forward to Alastair joining up again with Essex on a permanent basis. He still has much to offer Essex Cricket both on and off the field and it’s exciting times for Club.”

Former teammate and Chairman of the Cricket Advisory Group, Ronnie Irani added: “Alastair has had a fantastic career in his time with England and everyone associated with Essex have watched and followed him throughout. He has immense talent and incredible attitude to succeed and do well as an elite performer. I have nothing but admiration for the way he has gone about his game and being a good human being.

“It must have been a tough call but naturally if it’s the right time for him then we respect his decision and we are extremely looking forward to having him in the Essex team more often next year.”

Head Coach, Anthony McGrath was full of positive words and is confident he will receive a fitting send off from the England crowd:

“He’s a really down to earth guy and he works as hard as any other professional sportsman I’ve seen, so the success he’s achieved over the years is no real surprise.

“There’re too many outstanding moments to pick out just one. To be at the top of the order and open the batting for England for a number of years is a phenomenal effort in itself. With the career he’s had and the records he holds, you really can’t pick out just one moment.

“He holds so many records and has played a huge amount of cricket for England, I’ve seen him score double hundreds in the searing heat, bat for 10 hours and come off not breaking into sweat, and that’s Chef down to a tee really.

“He’s written his own script and hopefully he really enjoys The Oval this week and I’m sure the England fans will give him the send-off he deserves.”

Ryan ten Doeschate has shared a dressing room with Cook for many seasons at Essex and praised him as a player and man:

“His numbers speak for themselves and his batting in test cricket is pretty special. He’s going to go down as one of England best ever players.

“As a person he’s very generous and is always willing to give you his time and opinions. He’s a very funny guy and he cares a lot about his teammates.

“I was quite surprised when the news came through about his retirement, but if you look at the bigger picture, with England winning the series, he’s probably thinking when’s the right time for him and England to both move on, and in that aspect, I think he’s got it spot on.

“There’s not one innings of his that stands out, but what does stand out is his consistency. In every Series, he’s always delivered that one innings that’s won England the Test. I’ll always look at him as a really gutsy cricketer who’s always managed to find an innings at the right time.

“I’m delighted that he’s going to be back at Essex helping us in the County Championship next season. As well as his runs, he’s got so much cricket experience and brings a great personality to our group. His desire to be part of the team is really special for us and I could be happier that he’s going to back with us.”

Cook is not a user of social media but there have also been an outpouring of messages from present and former teammates to celebrate his career to date: