British media give 'beer man' Alastair Cook a fitting farewell giftAlastair Cook was attending the press conference at the end of 4th day's play when British journalists presented him 33 Beer bottles of different makes to honour his 33 Test hundreds.
Former England captain Alastair Cook was in for a lovely surprise after the end of the Day 4 of the Oval Test match, which is also his last outing in the England shirt in international cricket.
Cook, nick named 'Chef' by his fans, was attending the press conference at the end of day's play when British journalists presented him 33 Beer bottles of different makes to honour his 33 Test hundreds.
Each beer bottle also had a message from each member of the media who have covered Cook's career over the years.
The unique and lovable gesture received a huge round of applause from the journalists present at the press conference.
Playing in his 161st and final Test match, Cook scored his 33rd Test century on Monday before India slumped to 58-3 on Day 4 of the fifth Test, chasing 463 runs to win and leaving England seven wickets away from extending their 3-1 series lead.
"It's just been the most surreal four days of my life really," Cook said.
Cook and his successor as captain, Joe Root, both struck centuries in a 259-run third-wicket partnership, allowing England to declare on 423-8 and set India an imposing last innings target.
Cook received a series of ovations throughout the day, the first when he walked out at the start of the day with England on 114-2, and him on 46 after surviving in tough conditions on Sunday evening.
He didn't have to wait long for the next, as a flick into the leg side for four brought up his half century, and guaranteed him a career average of above 45.
Just 26 runs later, the 19,000-strong Oval crowd rose to their feet once more as Cook passed Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara as the fifth highest test run-scorer of all time, and leading left-handed batsman.
He then brought up the landmark he and the crowd wanted most in the strangest of circumstances, as what appeared to be a single to take him to 97 became five as Jasprit Bumrah's throw to the non-striker's end went for four overthrows, taking Cook to 101 from 210 balls.
"I remember cutting it for 97 and thinking 'that's probably three more to go,' and then just as he let it go I thought 'hang on a minute, he's launched that pretty hard,'" Cook said. "And then as soon as I saw Ravi (Jadeja) not anywhere near it. I thought 'hang on a minute,' and then obviously just kind of erupted."
The rapturous ovation went on for so long that Cook had to attempt to quiet the crowd, so that Root could focus on bringing up a century of his own.
"The ovation was just incredible," Cook said. "That's probably the only one I've really taken in and just thought 'wow'."
"For that all to happen today and every reception I've had over the last four days," Cook said. "It's just been incredible. Even just that last couple of overs when the whole crowd was singing my barmy army song was incredibly special."
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