Alastair Cook made his last contribution for England cricket with the bat and bowed out in style by notching up his 33rd Test century. Cook, playing his last Test, reached the magical three-figure mark on Day 4 of the fifth and final Test between India and England on Monday to put the hosts in complete control of the match. Emotions were high in the England dressing room and the stands at The Oval, London as Cook played his final knock. That mood seemed to spill over to the press conference room as Cook addressed the media, possibly for the last time in the England whites. To commemorate each of his 33 Test hundreds, Cook was gifted 33 bottles of beer with personalised messages by the British media.
Cook and the British media have not always seen eye to eye, especially during the Kevin Pietersen saga, when the opener was the captain of the England cricket team. However, the media’s grand gesture put a big smile on Cook’s face.
“On behalf of all the media, we appreciate everything you (Cook) have done as a player and a captain for England over the years but in particular in the way you have dealt with us. There have been some ups and downs, good and bad times, but you have always dealt with us very professionally. We have had a pretty good relationship all said and done,” a member of the British media told Cook.
“We just wanted to show our appreciation for everything and we got you a little gift. You said to me once that you are not really a wine drinker, you are a beer man, so we have got here 33 beers, one for each of your Test match hundred. And on each beer, there is a little message from each member of the media who have contributed in this.”
Arriving at the crease on 46 not out to thunderous applause from a 19,000 crowd on Monday morning, England’s most-capped Test player, record run-scorer and century-maker rolled back the years to score 147.
Cook’s 259-run third-wicket stand with skipper and fellow centurion Joe Root helped England score 423 for eight declared and by the close of a momentous day for England, India had stumbled to 58 for three in a hopeless chase of 464 for victory.
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