Old Bedfordian (98-03) Alastair Cook CBE announced his resignation as England Test captain on Monday 6 February, saying “It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years. Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team.”
Alastair Cook, who joined the school as a Major Music Scholar from St Paul’s Cathedral School, having been a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, and who was presented with a CBE by the Prince of Wales for his outstanding career just days earlier, stepped down from the England captaincy with a highly impressive list of achievements to his name, including:
- Captain for 59 tests – more than any other England Captain.
- Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015.
- Captain for 69 one-day internationals – another England record.
- Youngest player (from any country) to score 7,000, 8,000, 9,000, 10,000 and 11,000 runs in Test cricket.
- Youngest Englishman to score 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 Test runs.
- Most Test centuries by England skipper, surpassing Graham Gooch’s record of 11.
- England’s most capped player in Tests, surpassing Alec Stewart’s record of 134.
- First England cricketer to be involved in 50 Test wins.
- Most Test runs for England (broke the record at 8,901 runs).
- First captain worldwide to score a century in first five Tests.
- Most Test centuries for England (broke the record at 23 centuries).
- England’s record partnership in Australia, world record partnership and innings at The Gabba (329 with Jonathan Trott, 235 not out).
- Only Englishman (second worldwide) to score 1,000 runs in maiden year.
Throughout his time as England captain, Cook led with a quiet determination, and earned the respect of many of the greats within English cricket. Former England Test captain Nasser Hussain said Cook was an outstanding role model for his sport in the country, “I don’t think anyone can doubt what a great and fantastic ambassador for the game and the country Alastair Cook has been. He’s been a very dignified captain of England”. Cook’s mentor Graham Gooch, commented, “This type of sportsman only comes once in a generation, maybe less. He’s a great man and he’s still got great things to do for his country”.
We are incredibly proud of his achievements, his great leadership as England captain, and sportsmanship (both on and off the field). He has been, without doubt, a huge inspiration for young cricketers at Bedford and beyond, and, although his captaincy may have ended, we look forward to watching him score many more runs for England.
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as a Major Music Scholar from St Paul’s Cathedral School, having been a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral