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Alastair Cook was a constant in cricket’s ever-changing world | Ali Martin


The retiring England opener had his moments in one-day cricket but always put the Test game first

When Alastair Cook made his Test debut against India, following a 10,000-mile dash from the Caribbean to Nagpur as an 11th-hour replacement for the stricken Marcus Trescothick, back home in England Leo Sayer was top of the charts with Thunder in My Heart.

This was not 1977, but 2006, and Sayer’s original single was back in vogue thanks to a remix by the house DJ known as Meck. Nevertheless, it was a different time, with cricket in the UK about to begin life behind the paywall of Sky after the heady Ashes summer the previous year, the radical new Twenty20 Cup three seasons old and the Indian Premier League still two years from changing the landscape.

Related: Alastair Cook’s long goodbye begins and underlines his ongoing value | Barney Ronay

Related: Alastair Cook ready for England ‘mourning period’ but rules out return

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