Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook is an English batsman, who is also the captain of the Test and ODI cricket teams of England.

Full name: Alastair Nathan Cook

Born:  25 December 1984 (age 29) Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

Nickname: Cooky, Chef, English Bradman

Role: Opening batsman, England Test and ODI captain

Batting style: Left-handed

Spouse: Alice Hunt, married 2011

Current teams: England cricket team, Essex County Cricket Club 

Alastair Nathan Cook, MBE is the captain of both the English Test and ODI cricket teams. He is the current left-handed opening batsman who plays for his team Essex in county cricket.

Childhood and Cricket

Born on 25th December 1984, in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Alastair Cook is one of several players of mixed Anglo-Welsh heritage to play for England; his mother Stephanie is a teacher from Swansea, while his father Graham worked as a BT engineer, who was also a village cricketer.

From the very beginning, tall, dark and handsome Alastair Cook was destined for great things, and on the Ashes tour of 2010, Cook came on a horde of promises, scoring an unbelievable 766 runs in seven innings to secure England's first series win in Australia. While doing so, he scored more than 5,000 Test runs, and became the second youngest batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to reach the landmark. Also, he became the youngest player to score more than 7,000 runs.

Prolific Career

In 2005, from the moment he scored a hundred on debut against India, it seemed inevitable that he would have a prolific career and captain his country. Cook’s leadership quality could be seen in the year 2010 when he took full control of the test team after the former captain Andrew Strauss’s retirement. With the ongoing saga of Kevin Pietersen, and the tour in India, it was a little tough for Cook to handle, however, under his captaincy, the team was a triumph as England won the Test series 2-1, and Pietersen returned to the side to play a key role.

Memorable debut

At the age of 21, Cook made his international debut in cricket. In his first innings, Cook scored 160 runs from 60 balls, which made it a memorable debut in Nagpur, India. Although, they lost the match, Cook proved to be the cement for the base of the cricket team. Cook’s ability to remain consistent, and being at ease when in pressure, made him a permanent member of the team. In 2007, before a Test match in the series against Australia, Glenn McGrath honored him by publicly announcing that he would be targeting Cook: although it was hardly fruitful and made a tough beginning of the match, Cook managed to score a century in Perth (276 runs).

Bowlers began to exploit that weakness for hanging on the front foot, but Cook still made his share of runs. Despite this phenomenal flurry of runs, Cook came under criticism for a lack of centuries throughout 2008. In 2009, the critics were met with a reply, when Cook scored two centuries in the series against Australia. He took seven catches in the series, including the final wicket, to win the 2009 Ashes series. By his 25th birthday in the same year, Cook had scored far more runs (3536 to David Gower's 2548) and centuries (nine to Ian Botham's six) than any other Englishman of the comparable age.

Awesome Captaincy and Award

After his debut as the Test captain in 2010, and then taking ODI captaincy full-time, Cook went on to play another pivotal role in the 2011 Ashes series, by scoring the second highest number of runs in a Test series by an Englishman, including his maiden first-class double-hundred and two further hundreds, and batting for over 35 hours during the series.

Cook was appointed as the captain of the Test team after fellow opener Andrew Strauss' retirement on 29 August 2012. He captained England to its first Test series victory on Indian soil since 1984–85. During the tour he broke the record for most Test centuries for England (23), and became the first captain to score a century in each of his first five Tests in charge. The same year, Cook was appointed as the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). 

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