Monday 10 September 2018

All hail to the chef

I've been following cricket for about as long as I can remember, and it really does feel like the end of an era. Whilst I remember Gatting, Gooch, Atherton and Nasser, my memories of the England side are built around Vaughan, Strauss and Cook. More recently it has been Cook - it is hard to believe Joe Root has been captain for 20 or so matches already. Today Alastair Cook played his final test innings and what a way to bow out. He has not had it easy, openers never do - they face the best when they are at their best - and he has been out of form for a while. The decision to retire from the test arena has clearly freed him up mentally as he has been supreme in this final match. Class, as they say, is permanent. 

As many people have said, in particular Graham Gooch, Cookie should be lauded for being a great person as well as one of the finest test batsman many of us have been privileged to watch play. A beacon and a role model Gooch said, and I can certainly attest to that. Almost four years to the day today he came with some of his Essex team mates to play at our local club here in Wanstead. It was all about the kids, he was brilliant. Here are a few photos from that memorable day. I am about to listen to as much of the day's play as I can before I fall asleep - what a day it would have been to be at the Oval - but thank you Alastair Cook, you have been magnificent both on and off the field and I have enjoyed the game all the more for it.

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