We were delighted to see Old Bedfordian Alastair Cook (98-03)
lead England to a swift victory over Australia at Trent Bridge and regain the
Ashes on 8 August 2015. 

A brilliant result, especially when you look back just 19 months
ago – England had lost 5-0 to Australia down under and Cook was under
relentless fire for his style of captaincy.  However, Cook has withstood
the ongoing criticism and worked relentlessly to turn English cricket
around. 

Speaking on the BBC, Jonathan Agnew commented “It has been a rough time but what has always shone
through is his [Cook’s] resilience .
. . He has led this team
brilliantly and totally out-thought his Australia counterpart Michael Clarke,
who has long been considered one of most innovative captains in world cricket.
His field placings and bowling changes have been sharp, and at times he has
been ruthless.”

Others praising his captaincy following the series win included
Michael Vaughan, “Alastair Cook has led England
with a real style in this series. He has put England in the right frame of mind
to deliver their skills.”, as well as England team mate Joe Root: “For Cooky
[Cook] to go through what he’s gone through and still be as true to himself as
he is, is phenomenal.”

Commenting on the victory, Alastair Cook said, “It is above and beyond what I thought I’d achieve. I’m
just proud I’ve hung in in the really tough times and have managed to stay true
to a lot of my principles as a bloke and as a player and thinking I was the
right man for the job. And I’ve always, always had the backing of the dressing
room, which is the most important thing in the tough times. It’s been one hell
of an 18 months for me.”

This Ashes win is not only a superb result but
also a shining example of leadership, personal fortitude and conviction from
the former Bedford School boy of whom we are justly very proud.  It also
places Cook as the third England captain to win two or more home Ashes series,
after WG Grace and Mike Brearley. 

 

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