Having announced that he is set to retire from the game at the end of the ongoing Test series against India, opening batsman Alastair Cook has been bestowed with very high praise from Graham Gooch, who has hailed him as a "legend of English cricket".
"Alastair has been the rock of England's batting for the last 12 years since he made his debut and while we are all sad to see him retire, we must rejoice in what he has done for our country," Gooch, on Monday, September 3 was quoted saying, "He is a genuine legend of English cricket, He is a legend not only because of his performances, but, because of his attitude, his sacrifices, the way he has carried himself and the example he has set. Alastair is a perfect role model and is the image of the game we want to project."
Cook, who surpassed Gooch in 2015 as the highest run-getter for England, further got appreciation from Gooch for his excellent temperament and immaculate commitment.
Gooch further said, "His record is unsurpassed in terms of runs and the commitment he has showed for every team he has played for and has been a beacon for our sport as a person and as a cricketer, He is a great ambassador for his sport, he is a great person as well as a great cricketer."
"He has been his own man all the way through. He has his own views and he knows what he wants to achieve and what he wants to get and he has pursued that all the way through his career. It was evident from the very first time I met him when he came to Essex that he was a smart lad and he knew how he could play, he knew how he could manage his game, even at a young age." he added.
Making his debut against India at Nagpur in 2006, Cook has scored 12,254 at an average of 44.88 across 160 Tests and that definitely puts him amongst one of the best to have played for his country.
"It all stems from being strong of mind, being committed to hard work on his game and focusing on what's in front of him." Gooch said, "He has accepted every challenge and has achieved everything he wanted to achieve so we have to be sad that he will no longer be representing our country but we must rejoice in the fact he has been a rock for us for 12 years."
"To be a successful sportsman it is not just about the skills or talent, it is about hard work, commitment and desire. All of those parts complete the make-up of you as a person and helps you be successful and he has been determined, he has been stubborn sometimes but he is always somebody you can depend on and always the first name on the team sheet," he concluded.