Cook Retires

The moment Jonathan Agnew tweeted about a major announcement, it was obvious what the story was going to be – that Cook would retire from Test cricket, but would get one more Test before departing the scene.  The timing is probably right, for although his form has declined precipitously over the last couple of years (in particular), it was always the case that he remained the best opener available for England.  His struggles this series brought that into question.  Cook has had many a technical battle throughout his career, but this looked different – his technique didn’t appear particularly off, he was just getting out consistently to deliveries that he wouldn’t have when at his best.

In his statement he admitted that there was nothing left in the tank, and he’s probably correct.  It is the right time for him, and the right time for England.

As for his career, he’s England’s highest Test run scorer and one of England’s best openers in modern history and the most capped Test cricketer for England.  His record is deserving of respect and admiration on its own terms, and excessively hagiographical coverage of him over the last few years shouldn’t detract from his success as a player, nor his position in England cricketing history.  His batting in Australia in 2010/11 remains a memory for all England fans, as do his performances in India in a rare Test series win there. At his best, he was the rock upon which a powerful England batting line up was founded, and his ability to bat time and demonstrate extraordinary powers of concentrations is a forgotten art in the current side.

Cook has been a fine batsman, and if the “Greatest of All Time” narrative became tiresome, that wasn’t his fault.  Respect given for a terrific career, and he will deserve the recognition he will doubtless be accorded by spectators at the Oval.  Freed from the pressure of struggling with his game, who knows, a sign off century might be possible.  As a way to celebrate his career as whole, it would be thoroughly fitting.

Full post to follow, but for now, comments below.



117 thoughts on “Cook Retires

  1. Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 11:04 am

    Jesus……I thought something really important had happened!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 11:09 am

      Dan Norcross has said on Twitter that there won’t be a dry eye in the house at The Oval.

      I’m going.

      Liked by 2 people

      • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 11:41 am

        There can be tears of relief and laughter 😉


      • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 11:42 am

        You’re a sucker for punishment. Take your banjo and fiddle with you, and break into a sad country song.

        How about this…….there’s even a faint resemblance to the great man,…


      • jennyah46 Sep 3, 2018 / 1:59 pm

        I don’t expect there to be a handkerchief in your pocket!


  2. nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 11:08 am

    “His batting in Australia in 2011/12…”



      • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 11:13 am

        Bloody added that bit as I was listening to his statement too!


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 3, 2018 / 11:29 am

        remains a memory for all England fans…

        And one or two Australians too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Andy Sep 3, 2018 / 11:11 am

    Whatever his list of records are as an English Test batsman, he would have achieved none of them if Kevin Pietersen was still playing, who was sacked by, in part, Alistair Cook!

    Liked by 5 people

    • James Sep 3, 2018 / 11:23 am

      Hear hear.


    • d'Arthez Sep 3, 2018 / 11:44 am

      Well, maybe most Tests played by an Englishman. A record of longevity, or rather, a record made possible by the scheduling in the modern era. Doubtful that Pietersen would not have missed a single Test due to injury, and would still be playing right now.
      On the bright side for Cook hagiographers, he is not the player with the worst average in Test cricket who has scored 8000+ runs (Stewart, Mark Waugh, Gooch and Gower had worse averages; 30 players in that list). Mind you, one of them kept wicket for some time, the others had to face better bowling.
      Up the qualifying criterion to 9000 runs, and Cook has the worst average of those 15 players, which incidentally include 2 other openers (Graeme Smith and Sunil Gavaskar). So he has that record, which Pietersen might have struggle to take.


    • psoans Sep 3, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      I completely agree. If KP was Caesar then Cook was Brutus. I was appreciative of Cook until that point. KP May have been a diva in the dressing room but cricket needs flamboyant characters like KP. Cricket is a team game where individual performances can change a series. KP was more capable to do this than Cook.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Rooto Sep 3, 2018 / 11:12 am

    I knew it! (Mind you, we all knew it)
    Respect to Cook for doing the right thing. I’m really looking forward to the winter squad announcement, but this coming weekend could be a bit oleaginous – after all, it’s not often that the entire media corps are bereaved at the same time.
    By the way, TLG is dead right about the 2010-11 Ashes. They’re still on my list of YouTube favourites. Many thanks to Alastair Cook for that, at least.


  5. thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 11:21 am

    Is the most relieved man in England Keaton Jennings?


    • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 12:23 pm

      For now, but take your places please – ladies and gentlemen – for a desperate game of “opening pair roulette.”


      • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 12:25 pm

        Going to be fun isn’t it? For all the decline, few called for him to be booted because there’s not been any obvious replacement.

        Wait till Broad and Anderson go.

        Liked by 1 person

        • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 12:46 pm

          Yes, after the English Walsh and Ambrose finally shuffle off who’s going to be our Tino Best and Fidel Edwards? Plenty of long term success to look forward to I’m sure…


  6. Elaine Simpson-Long Sep 3, 2018 / 11:26 am

    My opinion of Cook changed drastically after the KP affair. I think he behaved in a spineless way. But I will not go on about that as we have all said enough on the subject. Just to say that I think we might have a chance to build a good opening partnership now with two newbies or experiments can now be tried. I have always felt that having Cook at the other end with you if you have not opened before must be pretty daunting because I never saw any signs of help or encouragement emanating from him.

    I am glad to see him go and if that sounds churlish then my apolgies. I am already getting the sick bag ready as I think I am going to need it over the next few days after the likes of Selvet, Newman et al burble on.

    And yes I know I sound like a grumpy old bag.
    Well I am.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 11:32 am

    Not the GOAT, but a very very fine opener.
    A couple of things though;
    – If you retire, its immediate, you might want a final test in England, but now we are definitely going to have a new opener overseas who hasn’t necessarily played before. This is selfish but entirely consistent with Cook (who has to be selfish to be a good opener)
    – Agree with Andy above, he is a record holder partially because he helped sack someone who was more likely to be a record holder.

    His legacy was tarnished by the fallout of the Ashes tour, his refusal to see that he wasn’t best choice for ODI captain, and his assistance in the sacking.

    However he would appear to be (in England at least) the last of the proper test batsman, a player who understood the value of time in cricket as well as scoring rates. He will be missed, but imho he’s probably gone on a year too long.

    Will have to avoid the newspapers for the next few days as he will be lauded as the best of all time evers. However will probably nip to the Guardian’s comment section where I’m sure Aaran will chip away at some of the more fervent frothing commenters.


    Liked by 3 people

    • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 11:37 am

      Oh, no mention yet on selveCricket, just going on about Rashid as usual.


      • thebogfather Sep 3, 2018 / 12:07 pm

        Selve is having connection problems on his Nokia whilst sat in the corner of lonely ale-house

        Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 11:40 am

      I’ve just realised and read his statement. He is assuming that he is going to be playing at the Oval. If I was Smith I would think there is no value to this in a dead rubber, thanks Alistair we’ll have a quick presentation at the beginning of the match, but we are going to select two new openers. Really thoughtful of you to give us the opportunity to blood an opening partnership prior to the winter tours.

      If Smith does this, with the Rashid pick as well I may completely change my mind on him (although I might just wait to see what LCL thinks and plagiarise his thoughts ;-))

      Liked by 3 people

      • Miami Dad's Six Sep 3, 2018 / 12:00 pm

        I’d definitely drop him for the Oval. 100%. He hasn’t seemed like scoring any runs all series. Even Jennings outbatted him.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Miami Dad's Six Sep 3, 2018 / 12:05 pm

        I’d certainly drop him immediately. Would the Australians pander to this weak, doe-eyed sentiment?

        Liked by 1 person

      • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 12:18 pm

        I’m sure the conversation about him playing at the Oval will already have taken place and I’d be amazed if he were denied his swan song.
        I was half expecting him not to retire formally but instead to announce, say, that he was standing down for the time being in the hope of recharging his batteries and justifying a Test place again through county form. The media would’ve gone along with that and the faithful could have taken comfort from the possibility of a second coming. In the event I’m pleasantly surprised that he wants to continue playing for Essex as an old(ish) county pro with no expectation of ever returning to international duty. It shows a love for the game (I’m sure he’s financially secure enough to have walked away completely if he’d wanted to). His decision to make a clean break from the Test side, and his frank admission that he has no more left to give it, do him credit.


        • Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 1:28 pm

          I’ve always got the impression that Cook genuinely loves playing for Essex and they all genuinely like him there. It’s a bit like Bell with Warks, it’s the place where whatever he does is OK. He’ll probably be really happy for few years.

          Liked by 1 person

          • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 1:49 pm

            Speaking of Sir Ian of Bell (and yes, I think you make a good analogy) could cook’s retirement be the excuse that the selectors probably feel they need in order to recall him? (Hopefully not as opener). One senior pro to replace another and show the youngsters the True Path?


          • Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 3:25 pm

            Ah, sorry Oreston, I didn’t see your comment and have just posted the same thing below re Bell’s return. Definitely due a recall.


          • Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 6:27 pm

            Collingwood. That’s who this side needs.


          • dannycricket Sep 3, 2018 / 7:37 pm

            What about Nasser? The kind of captain England needs, and probably not much difference with Cook’s batting.


    • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 11:50 am

      There aren’t many controversial or baiting comments at the Guardian. Although it’s not surprising that this one has tried stirring the pot:

      “AngloCeltSoundSystem 4m ago

      There will be those who say he wasn’t a great captain – neither were most captains. Some still sulk after all this time about his refusal to rehabilitate a certain gentleman more than once – if that’s you, grow up. Some may even try to tell you he wasn’t a great batsman – his record answers any criticism anyone may have on that score.

      Most of us will just thank him for what he has done in his career and wish him well for whatever the future holds.”

      I am tempted, but it makes not the blindest bit of difference after all these years.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 12:15 pm

        He was brilliant, magnificent, amazing until he was part of a stupid self-harm decision to get rid of a top talent. So don’t mention it because the problem is with YOU!

        Oh yeah. And KP, with an average 2.3 higher than him, who took more risks in his batting to counteract that “openers get better balls” stuff, and who was kicked out at an older age, was not a great batsman, but a player of great innings. Cook, who has gone desert like stretches without hundreds is a great player, just look at his record. You can’t have one without the other being “great”. Indeed, Cook Australia 2010/11 and India 2012 could be defined as a player of “great series” rather than a great player. If you were being churlish.

        Game on. 850+ words in and I’m up to Perth 2006.

        Liked by 2 people

        • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 12:18 pm

          I personally can’t wait 😉


        • thebogfather Sep 3, 2018 / 12:40 pm

          Surely there is no blog post awaited more than a from the sightscreen long burst from Dmitri… (except perhaps my proffered ‘Ageas Customer Experience’ post, which, in true deference to His Lordship (and our retiring, failing opener) shall defer until later in the week when the #QueenMum eulogies have been seen to have past.

          …Unless Alice has some ECB/MSM sheep to slaughter… which would be so delicious with mint sauce (unsourced of course in the name of ‘good journalsm)


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 12:50 pm

            The words Kevin and Pietersen will not appear in the post.

            Instead SABMOB is used. I’m silly like that.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jomesy Sep 3, 2018 / 7:02 pm

            South African Born …can’t get the rest? Help me?


          • jomesy Sep 3, 2018 / 7:18 pm

            Should have got that! Thank you


      • Rooto Sep 3, 2018 / 12:20 pm

        Is it too short notice to organise a “Th****er’s Dead”-style street party? That’s the level of transgressiveness I felt just putting up a very mild “good decision, about time” post at the G. It was sickly sweet BTL.

        (This post wasn’t accepted by WordPress first time, so I’ve asterisked out the bad language!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 12:24 pm

        AngloCeltSoundSystem Grenners 30m ago

        “The first thing Alistair Cook did when appointed captain was to stand up to the team management and demand that Kevin Pietersen (who had rightly been sacked for bad mouthing his own captain to the opposition during a match) was reinstated and then put a lot of work into making that happen.

        The fact that that you have chosen to ignore that well established fact and then judge him on his decision, 18 months later, not to do all that again tells us nothing at all about Alistair Cook, a bit too much about Kevin Pietersen and an awful lot about you.”

        YOU are a morally inferior person. Fuck all has changed since August 2012. What a depressing decade. This here is why I do not give a fuck what England do any more.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 12:30 pm

          There was the slight issue of the legal issues, that according to Agnew Flower was the instigator of the reinstatement, and that the chief impediment at that time (Strauss) had gone off into the sunset. But hey, he knows best. He knows “well established facts”.


          • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 12:38 pm

            “Batting at 4-6 is worth an extra 5-10 runs on a batting average compared to 1-3 (for the same player).”

            It’s warming up now….


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 12:47 pm

            Point addressed in blog post. 1558 words and cleared Ashes 2011. I’ve still got the good bits to come.

            Anyone mentioning how he nearly got dropped but saved himself with his hundred at The Oval against Pakistan?


          • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 12:56 pm

            Stop it with your facts!


        • jomesy Sep 3, 2018 / 7:03 pm

          18 months? I wish…


    • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 1:09 pm


      • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 1:18 pm

        I like all the “33 isn’t old” comments given that just a few years ago 33 was definitely very old.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 2:28 pm

          Age is just a number. 40 is the new 30 for Jimmy. They just pull it out of where the sun don’t shine.


      • man in a barrel Sep 3, 2018 / 4:22 pm

        All time great!!!!! What the flying fxxx!

        As great as Grace, Hobbs, Hammond, Bradman, Headley, Barnes, Rhodes, o’Reilly, Lillee, Sobers?

        I think he would have struggled against that attack. Would you prefer Cook or Sir Geoffrey to bat for your life, taking into account all those long periods when the Cookster couldn’t lay the face of the bat on the ball?.

        Let’s leave it “he was fortunate enough to play a lot of matches in an era lacking alternative opening batsmen”


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 4:32 pm

          I wish people wouldn’t get hung up on the “great” tag. I hope people remember what he was when he was at his best, India 2012, Australia 2010, and take that away and say, yes, he was a good one.

          The problem I have with him, and others, is the fawning.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Sherwick Sep 3, 2018 / 7:45 pm

            The only 2 problems I have with Cook are botb related: 1. the backstabbing he did and 2. Lack of leadership when dealing with KP.

            Liked by 1 person

          • dannycricket Sep 3, 2018 / 7:51 pm

            To be fair to Cook, he has always lacked leadership in the conventional sense. To expect him to suddenly develop some in one situation is clearly unreasonable. And, to be honest, Root isn’t much better. They can ‘lead from the front’ with the bat in their hands, although captaincy seems to have hurt both of their batting averages, but any other kind of leadership is beyond them.


        • Benny Sep 3, 2018 / 7:00 pm

          Sir Geoffrey had his faults but if I needed someone “to bat for my life” it would be him. He didn’t even need a helmet. Even at my age, I haven’t watched Hammond, Hobbs or Hutton (who I suspect was the best (364!!!) but I have a feeling they were better than we’ve ever seen

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 12:34 pm

    Well, Cook’s decision to carry on playing for Essex does mean that the reactions are a bit less funereal that they would have been if he’d retired altogether. Even so, BTL at the Guardian is definitely in ‘speak nothing but good of the dead’ mode.

    So, well, y’know, good stuff, successful career, lots of runs, lots of money, well done him. Bye bye.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    There is something almost biblical about Cooks career. It even has the famous BC/AC switch over. Before captaincy/After captaincy. He became Test captain in August 2012, but it would be just over a year before the full calamity would take effect. English cricket would change, and not for the better on the 2013/14 tour of Australia . A new era was ushered into in deceit, and bullshit. But that’s for later.

    BC it was all smiles, and runs, and more runs. So many runs in fact that some questioned what was going on? Was this man a new God? or had Test bowling attacks gone right down the pan? I leave it to others to decide. But the weak and feeble in the media, as they always do, dropped to their knees and believed a new God walked among us. A Tall, handsome God that was everything they weren’t. They longed to be him, they longed to worship him. I leave the more embarrassing passages to “disciple Pringle.” (Re read, and cringe)

    It would be churlish not to acknowledge the sheer weight of runs. It was almost industrial. Yet it wasn’t great on the eye. It was rather awkward, not quite agricultural, but mechanical? And like a machine it appeared you couldn’t stop it when it was switched on. A left hander, but not elegant like Gower. Not exciting like Trescothick, and certainly not a genius like Lara. Just a steam roller. You would not pay money to watch, but you knew the machine was doing a vital job. Like the men who pour the concrete for the foundations of a new skyscraper.

    But then AC came about. Our young handsome God was never captaincy material. But in an age of image, and right sort of schooling job credentials are so old fashioned. Unfortunately, he didn’t talk like a god, and his tactical ideas seemed to be whatever Andy Flower thought was right. Then came the winter of discontent, 2013 vintage. English cricket broke in two, and our new God was the front man for the new era. On his shoulders was put the new ECB regime. He was the public face of something more sinister. Now some will say it wasn’t his doing. He was just stuck in the middle of a war between a former captain, and his mate the coach, and a genuine star of the team. Pays your money takes your choice.

    The media projected onto him a kind of deity. He wasn’t responsible for that, and long term it did him no favours, but he didn’t altogether shy away from it either. When they are heralding you up as a saint, a god, or a superman it must be real easy to believe your own press coverage. The Cook BC era was an embarrassment for the media. Never has an English cricketer or captain been so indulged. I doubt we will ever see it like that again. (Thank the lord)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Andy Sep 3, 2018 / 1:39 pm

    What I’m disappointed in is that LCL didn’t have his Cook retirement obitury pre-written in anticipation… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 3:02 pm

      Contrary to what other bloggers have written, we really haven’t focused on Cook much at all this year. What was the point. Sure, I did a few things about his dropping average, resurrected the 7 in 125 meme, but as an actual subject for a blog piece? No.

      The piece is so long I might break it in two. The first para mentions Roger Federer. I’m turning into Matthew Syed.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. d'Arthez Sep 3, 2018 / 1:53 pm

    I am fairly confident that the number of mentions of Cook’s record being statistically closer to Chris Gayle than any of the (supposed – one can argue about some of them) all times great openers will be exactly zero.


  12. Silk Sep 3, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    A fitting tribute. A very, very fine batsman.

    I don’t begrudge him the Oval. Burns for Bairstow, Ali to bat at 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    I do wonder if India had won yesterday would this announcement have been made before the Oval? Would Cook have still gone at the end of the series? And if so would he have let it overshadow the decider at The Oval with the Cook jamboree it will now turn into? We will never know I guess

    Then there is the question of Root. What did he know, and when did he know it? For example Root has been quite assertive in this test match. Putting himself back to four, and placing Ali up to bat at three.

    Is this a sign that a weight has been lifted from him?


    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 3:03 pm

      I wonder what will come out over who pushed him? Because I have a feeling he has been pushed on the back of a bad summer. No way he’s retiring if he’s in nick.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 3:11 pm

        Well Selvey certainly wanted him to keep playing . And Shinny toy said he should go at his choosing. Funny he came out with that statement a week ago. So was he pushed or did he jump?

        They will never admit it even if it’s true. But if it is true, and it leaks out Root could have a giant target on his back.


      • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 4:01 pm

        I heard Farbrace talk about it being the right time, and there’d only been “glimpses” of the former Cook recently. Found that quite intriguing – if the coaches are saying that, it does suggest he was surely close to the edge in terms of selection. Or you’d hope so.

        Liked by 1 person

        • man in a barrel Sep 3, 2018 / 7:59 pm

          The hints of doubt from Nasser on commentary over his technical failings were an alert for me. He even stopped droning on about his mental strength, which we all know is as fragile as a teenage girl


  14. nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    One guy goes and he quotes Graham Norton on a Friday night chat show.

    Another guy goes and it’s a former Poet Laureate.


    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 3:04 pm

      It’s like they are grieving. But then, that’s what happens when you effect neutral observation and take sides. Some of us never pretended the former, but tried to understand them.


    • Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      Blimey. Selvey really doesn’t do objectivity, does he?

      Liked by 2 people

      • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 5:49 pm

        It’s the reason why I really, really dislike him (hate is too strong a word and emotion to waste on Selvey)
        Quoting an elegy that Betjeman wrote???
        FFS this is just ridiculous infantile behaviour, that’s why you were sacked from TMS and The Guardian you partisan fool, at least I’m an honest in my social media zealotry

        Liked by 3 people

          • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 5:53 pm

            I am anticipating with baited breath….


          • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 5:55 pm

            have you seen the next tweet.
            It’s a beautiful heartwarming story of a sacked journalist and his new best buddy


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 6:07 pm

            One could say that backing him and the ECB cost Selvey his job. A beer was the least he could do.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 6:16 pm

            It’s almost pornagraphic in a non sexual way you understand.

            What it does reveal is how fake the English cricket media has become in this era. And no bigger fake than Selvey. When journos are lauded by the people they are supposed to be objectively covering you get dross.


          • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 6:21 pm

            Mandy Rice Davies applies, I think.

            I expect he had one of two beers with Flower in 2014 as well.

            And quite possibly Downton in 2015.

            Nice to see him helping write the epitaph for an era of what Clive called “yellow journalism” though. We don’t even have to try.


          • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 6:23 pm

            There’s a corking reply to that. Someone suspects the dead deer pic was photoshopped!!!!!

            Even though it appears in an article by Martin Samuel that talks of shooting and Cook’s pride in the opening para!

            Truly he can do no wrong.


          • Benny Sep 3, 2018 / 7:08 pm

            A beer in a dressing room is classy? Selvey should get out more


          • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 7:09 pm

            Wine in the ECB President’s hotel room, for example?


        • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 5:52 pm

          Just seen what Bog’s did to that tweet. Nice work

          Liked by 1 person

          • thebogfather Sep 3, 2018 / 7:52 pm

            I betcha mean this one Sir O?


          • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 9:05 pm

            It was a thing of beauty

            Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 3:15 pm

      It could get very embarrassing now. But if you have these clowns as friends Alasdair, they will make you cringe in the end.

      How about this…..A message to Selvey and the romantics.

      If vodka were water and I were a duck
      I’d swim to the bottom and never come up
      But waters not vodka and I’m not a duck
      So pass me a bottle and shut the f**k up

      Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K Sep 3, 2018 / 3:25 pm

      Yes it’s really hard to say how we will replace the 18.62 runs he averaged this year.

      As for the abstract ‘the player’ – isn’t it generally accepted by even his hagiographers that Cook was a fairly self absorbed sort of cricketer, which is why whatever else you might say about it his captaincy was not exactly a masterpiece of inspiration?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rooto Sep 3, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      Excuse my French, but…
      Fucking hell. Pass the sick bag.

      “The People’s Opener”, anyone?


  15. Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    So, can Ian Bell come back now? He seems to have plenty left in the tank.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Simon K Sep 3, 2018 / 3:26 pm

    Obvious point, but Clarke’s “right sort of fellow/right sort of family” remarks are really echoing heavily in some of these eulogies, aren’t they.


    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      Writing the valedictory and I’ve just got to Southampton. Revisiting that nonsense and all that built up to it wreaks havoc on your head.

      “No, not really….” That response from Downton to Agnew when asked about whether they had considered captaincy removal from a disaster still makes my blood boil.

      The eternal question, and one I can’t answer was how much was Cook’s fault? Innocent bystander or willing lightning rod?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Deep Purple Fred Sep 3, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Aw, KP is that all? I was hoping for something a bit more pointed.

    I guess he got it out of his system with the book. Unless he’s truly devious and the name mispelling is harking back to a similar mistake…


  18. Simon K Sep 3, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    I would like to probe a bit more the “style v substance” thing. Was this really a conscious preference of Cook’s? Was it not more that his style was naturally limited and defensive, and he made the best of it? If a player has a capacity for more varied strokeplay and aggressive batting, is that really less “substantial” even if it involves more risks? I think there’s a lot of underlying prejudice here about how cricketers – especially English cricketers – “should” play which isn’t really backed up by the evidence…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Quebecer Sep 3, 2018 / 4:22 pm

      Spot On, Simon.


    • Rooto Sep 3, 2018 / 5:50 pm

      “The end of an era”, “last of his kind”, are expressions I’ve read a few times today. It seems to be the same ‘era’ or ‘kind’ that got Compton drummed out of the team by the same crowd not long ago.

      Liked by 2 people

    • OscarDaBosca Sep 3, 2018 / 6:03 pm

      I would go for limited shots well executed with some useful physical and mental attributes, such as not sweating, good hand-eye co-ordination, good judgement of line and length.

      I’ll always remember Edgbaston where he put India to the sword and almost made 300. He was edging there because he had one way of playing and one method, the crowd were bored after lunch because England were winning, going to win the match, so watching Cook make 300 would have been great, but he took so long (due to his limited, however efficient and brutal, method) that he ended up holing out on 294? (Aaran please ;-)) because he tried to hurry the scoring and India closed off all his usual avenues.

      The crowd’s relief was palpable, not because they hated Cook, but because we finally declared and the match moved on.

      An excellent opener with a vary limited technique who knew his game and what he could and couldn’t play, an English Mark Richardson (NZ opener with 2 shots)


  19. thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    Blog self-justification, but you’re in for a treat with Dmitri’s post later. It’s superb if I say so myself.


    • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      They say there’s an unearthly silence just before an earthquake…


  20. Sophie Sep 3, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    How can he have given more to the England shirt than anyone else if he doesn’t sweat?

    In other news, Hoult has decided that Buttler gets the gloves for good, but I don’t know if it’s hopes and dreams or good journalism. And Bairstow has apparently run over Hoult’s dog or something.

    “Bairstow was clearly unsettled at the Ageas Bowl by comments from Root before the game [Link to article by Vaughan about how he should stop sulking] when he said there was no guarantee he would return as the team’s keeper when fit. He was then bowled for a first-ball duck for the second time in three innings and looked distant from the team when stuck on the boundary during India’s run chase, although that may have been a move designed to protect his broken finger.”

    Sorry about the stupid and tasteless joke.


    • Zephirine Sep 3, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      Bairstow seems to be quite an emotional guy. But being upset and anxious that your career isn’t going how you want is not the same thing as sulking.

      I think if Root can manage to implement a squad approach with England and get them all to accept being rested sometimes, it will be an achievement, with good results for players’ mental an physical health.


      • Sophie Sep 3, 2018 / 7:43 pm

        I’m mostly fascinated by the looking distant from the team while fielding at the boundary.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherwick Sep 3, 2018 / 8:00 pm

          One step away from looking out of the window and/or whistling.
          I feel the start of a dossier coming on…


  21. Benny Sep 3, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Can’t find much to say. Good batsman. Past his best. Goodbye

    Liked by 1 person

  22. nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Someone please put Selvey’s latest tweet up (I can’t at present).

    It’s exquisite. It’s perfect. It’s everything.


      • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 7:51 pm

        The best part of today is the media, in their eager desire to prove their undenying love of Cook are proving us right for the whole of the last four years. These are fake journalists, producing fake coverage of their chums and hero’s . It was giant circle jerk of bias and bullshit.

        But we already knew that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie Sep 3, 2018 / 8:07 pm

        Wasn’t he going to get a blog? He could eulogise all over it for hours and hours. It would give him a break from making snide remarks about cricketers he doesn’t like.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 8:09 pm

          I believe it suddenly occurred to him that people with cricket blogs had to actually work for a living as well.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 8:16 pm

          He wanted to make money out of it, and probably saw it wasn’t just a matter of writing his own stuff but getting the thing a regular audience. And you can’t make money out of a cricket blog. Not serious wonga.

          Maybe he appreciates us a bit more now. How I ran a blog on my own for a year still amazes me, putting out content nearly every day. God, I was sad.


          • thelegglance Sep 4, 2018 / 4:37 am

            It amazed me at the time. Think that’s where I came in…


      • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 8:16 pm

        I’ve not missed having a chat show on BBC television…

        …honest Tony.

        Smell my cheese you mother.


    • Deep Purple Fred Sep 3, 2018 / 8:15 pm

      Speechless. He’s reached Trumpian levels of self-parody.
      It’s not really him is it, Sacha Baron Cohen has taken over his account.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 8:22 pm

        It’s beautiful isn’t it, Fred? Like an artwork that stuns from every conceivable angle. And at the same time, so gratifying to observe the yin of Partidgean self-awareness meeting the yang of “all the BTLers you talked down to had your number six years ago and you just keep proving it again and again, day job or not”.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 8:23 pm

          A fanboy. An utter fanboy.

          Oh the delicious taste of ironic tears.

          Agnew lets himself down a bit with this one…


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