Alastair Cook expects to enter a period of mourning once his Test career comes to an end at the Oval but the opener has already ruled out being talked back into the whites of his country in future, insisting: “I have done my bit.”
Speaking before his 161st and final Test starting on Friday, a match in which Joe Root’s side will look to wrap up a 4-1 series victory over India and move to No 4 in the rankings, Cook joked that one close friend contacted him just to check he was still alive, such has been the outpouring of tributes following news of his retirement.
But as he looks to sign off from national duty by adding to his England record tallies of 12,254 Test runs and 32 centuries, Cook accepted the reality of his decision to step down from international cricket was yet to kick in even though playing on only for Essex – he has signed a new three-year deal with the county – and life on the family farm will soften the blow.
“I’m going to miss the buzz,” said Cook, who revealed he had wrestled with thoughts of retirement over the past six months. “When there’s a tight game, or when Edgbaston is rocking, you’ll sit there with jealousy watching people play for England.