Andrew Strauss, England Cricket Board’s chairman and the former opening partner of Alastair Cook presented cook a special cap as the England opener is set to retire from international cricket. ECB chairman Colin Graves was also present at this occasion.

This ceremony was held just before the commencement of the final Test on Friday at the Oval. The entire England team was present on this occasion and Strauss addressed the crowd before presenting Cook with a special cap which has the number ‘161’ inked on it. This number represents the number of Test matches Cook has played for England.

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After this special ceremony, Strauss spoke with a media portal about the contributions of Cook and appreciated his former opening partner.

Strauss hailed Cook as the greatest ever cricketer produced by England. He said that taking into consideration that average, that consistency, the runs Cook has made, the fifties he has scored and the hundreds he has got, the match-winning hundreds he’s got, all combine to make him the greatest ever cricketer for England.

Strauss also pointed out that people generally don’t appreciate the efforts that go into playing one Test match for a country. Strauss said that playing one Test match needs a lot of mental anguish, preparations, and the gym work and Cook has been doing this for a long period of time and that too consistently.

The former England batsman also said that greatness doesn’t come on the back of one innings or a good summer. It comes on the back of repeated performances over an extended period of time and Cook has done it.

Strauss made it clear that Cook has got the stats to back his greatness and he has received universal respect from everyone he has played against around the world and very few players are able to do that.