Alastair Cook’s predecessor as England captain, Andrew Strauss, has said playing alongside his prolific former opening opener was the “the most special time” of his life.
Cook, England’s record Test run-scorer, is playing his 161st and final Test against India at The Oval having decided to retire from international cricket.
Speaking in a video released by the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Strauss said: “Cookie, your achievements in an England shirt are unrivalled. You’ve been an unbelievable servant to the game in this country.
Numerous other cricketers who have played alongside and against 33-year-old Cook throughout his career were also included in the video, including current skipper Joe Root.
Root said: “I just want to say huge congratulations on what has been an absolutely fabulous career. You’ve given absolutely everything to the shirt, for the badge, this team. I’m so proud and privileged to be able to call you one of my friends.”
All-rounder Moeen Ali also paid a glowing tribute, saying: “I can always say to my kids and family that I played with the great Alastair Cook, the greatest English batsman ever, and I’m very proud of that.”
Stuart Broad thanked Cook for batting “for ever and ever”, allowing him time “just drinking cups of tea with my feet up”.
There were also some jokes, referencing Cook’s life away from the game as a farmer.
Graeme Swann said: “Congratulations on a very highly successful career, of course. Now you can get back to your true vocation in life, sticking your arm up a sheep’s bottom.”
James Anderson showed his comic acting skills, recording a nice message but then pretending he did not realise the camera was still recording as he made some critical comments.
Anderson said: “Congratulations mate. It’s been a right laugh. Well done pal…
“That’ll do…Don’t even like the bloke anyway. He bangs on about form in this, form in that…It’s lambing season. Who cares mate? Bore off! He should have retired two years ago.”