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Sir Alastair Cook's Biography

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Who is Alastair Cook?

Alastair Nathan Cook was born on the 25th December, 1984, in Gloucester.

Cook is a left-handed batsman who was schooled at Bedford, where he started playing for the school's First XI at a young age. Each year he improved and in 2003 he scored 1287 runs for the school with an incredible average of 160.87.

Alastair Cook continued this form and took it into the U19 World Cup, in Bangladesh, where he captained England. He set an excellent example scoring two centuries on the way to the semi-finals.

In 2005, he became a regular in the Essex team, and proved himself by keeping up his brilliant batting form. Cook received a great deal of support and training from former Essex and England opener Graham Gooch. He finished with an average of 52.35, hitting 5 centuries and even reached 195 on one occasion, throughout a season in which he was reliable and consistent.

In August that year Alastair Cook was awarded Young Cricketer of the Year by the Cricket Writer's Club and was given Young Player of the Year by the Professional Cricketer's Association.

Later that year Alastair Cook was called up in place of the injured Michael Vaughan to face Pakistan but didn’t really figure.

In the 2006 season Cook was called up again for the injured England captain - this time to play against India in the first test and he played a major part.

He second top-scored in the first innings in Nagpur with 60 runs but in the second innings he became the 15th Englishman to hit a century on their test debut, a list headed by W.G.Grace.

Alastair Cook also did well in his first Test on home soil, making 89 at Lords in England's first Test against Sri Lanka in May 2006.

Cook scored another century in England's first Test against Pakistan in 2006 notching up 105 from 279 balls and then followed up with 127 in the first innings of the second Test.

In September 2006, Alastair Cook was named the Young Player of the Year for the second time in a row.

In November 2010, in the second innings of the first Test of the Ashes series, Alastair Cook hit 235 not out. It was the sixth best Ashes score by an Englishman.

Cook followed up with another century in the first innings of the second Ashes Test.

Up until he was out for 148, Cook had, in effect, been at the crease for 1052 minutes without being got out, because of his 235 not out at the Gabba together with the 148 at the Adelaide Oval.

In the fifth Ashes Test, Alastair Cook made 189 for a series aggregate of 766 runs. It was more runs than any England batsman in an Ashes series other than Wally Hammond, who scored 905 runs in the 1928/29 Ashes series.

On 5 May 2011, Alastair Cook was named England's captain for one-day internationals.

In June 2011, at just 26, Alastair Cook hit his 18th Test hundred, just four away from the record for England centuries.

In August 2011, Alastair Cook scored 294 in England's third Test against India. It was the sixth highest score by an Englishman in a Test.

On 6 December 2012, Alastair Cook, who a month before had taken over as England captain, broke a couple of records in the third Test against India. He scored his 23rd Test century - a record for England, and also became the youngest batsman of any country to reach 7,000 Test runs.

In the summer of 2013, Cook captained England to retaining the Ashes. England won the series 3-0.

Subsequently Cook went through a difficult patch, but was back in form when he scored 162 as England won the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's in May 2015. In the next Test, Alastair Cook overtook his mentor Graham Gooch to become England's leading Test run scorer of all time with more than 8,900 runs.

On 30 May 2016, he became the youngest player to score 10,000 Test runs at just 31 years, five months and five days. The landmark took place as he captained England in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

In the same year he was awarded the CBE for services to cricket.

On 6 February 2017, Alastair Cook resigned as England Test captain after a record 59 matches and his stint included Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015.

He continued to bat for England and his innings included scoring 243 on 18 August 2017, in the first Test against the West Indies.

In September 2018, he announced his retirement from Test cricket.

He had  scored more runs and made more centuries for England than anyone else.

Two of his innings were in the list of the longest Test innings: his 263 against Pakistan in 2015 (836 minutes) and his 294 against India in 2011 (773 minutes).

In December 2018, it was announced that Alastair Cook would be knighted in the New Year's Honours List.

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