The most surreal four days of my life, says Cook

States that he had no intention of reconsidering his decision to retire

Alastair Cook was a pleased man after notching up a century in his final Test innings. He was pleased he was bowing out on his own terms, and stated that that he had no intention of reconsidering his decision to retire.

“It’s always nice to have people wanting a little bit more than trying to kick you out,” he said at the Oval on Monday.

“It (the hundred) absolutely confirms [my decision to retire]. It’s been something that’s been coming for 12-18 months, not just one bad series or a bit of bad form. It’s just time. It’s time for me – it’s time for my family. To go out on your own terms when your last ever innings for England was a hundred. I don’t know how I’ve managed it, to be brutally honest.”

Cook described the moment he’d reached his hundred.

“I remember cutting it for 97 thinking that’s three more to go. Just as he (Bumrah) let it go I thought ‘hang on a minute – he’s launched that pretty hard’.

“I actually thought it was four straightaway. I didn’t see Pujara running after it so actually it could have been quite embarrassing if I started celebrating and he actually stopped it and I was on 99. It saved me a lot of heartache. He’s (Bumrah) also caused me a lot of heartache in this series. For him to then give me that little moment there, I’ll thank him for a while.”

Long ovation

The ovation that followed was a long one. “It was just incredible,” said Cook. “Rooty was like, ‘hang on a minute, I’ve got some runs to get as well here’, when he was marking his guard and they wouldn’t shut up.”

Cook’s wife, Alice, who was at the ground, is expecting their third child.

“It’s just been the most surreal four days of my life,” said Cook. “I suppose if she goes into labour tonight, that’ll probably top it off.”

Cook made a hundred on debut against India and finished his career with a century against the same opponent.

He became only the fifth player to make hundreds in his first and last Tests. There was a symmetry to it, he agreed. “It’s strange how it works,” Cook said.

“I don’t know who decides all that stuff.”

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