PCA President Graham Gooch reacts to the news Alastair Cook has announced his international retirement.

To see more articles. Click here

PCA President and long-term mentor of Alastair Cook, Graham Gooch, has paid tribute to the England legend on behalf of the Professional Cricketers’ Association after the opener announced his retirement from international cricket upon conclusion of the India series.

Alastair has been the rock of England’s batting for the last 12 years since he made his debut and while we are all sad to see him retire, we must rejoice in what he has done for our country.

He is a genuine legend of English cricket.

He is a legend not only because of his performances, but, because of his attitude, his sacrifices, the way he has carried himself and the example he has set.  Alastair is a perfect role model and is the image of the game we want to project.

He is a great ambassador for his sport, he is a great person as well as a great cricketer.

His record is unsurpassed in terms of runs and the commitment he has showed for every team he has played for and has been a beacon for our sport as a person and as a cricketer.

He has been his own man all the way through. He has his own views and he knows what he wants to achieve and what he wants to get and he has pursued that all the way through his career. It was evident from the very first time I met him when he came to Essex that he was a smart lad and he knew how he could play, he knew how he could manage his game, even at a young age.

Throughout his career he has developed his game to improve and the results are there for all to see.

"To achieve what he has in playing 160 Test Matches, scoring over 12,000 runs and 32 centuries is an incredibly special achievement from a special person."


It all stems from being strong of mind, being committed to hard work on his game and focusing on what’s in front of him. He has accepted every challenge and has achieved everything he wanted to achieve so we have to be sad that he will no longer be representing our country but we must rejoice in the fact he has been a rock for us for 12 years.

To be a successful sportsman it is not just about the skills or talent, it is about hard work, commitment and desire. All of those parts complete the make-up of you as a person and helps you be successful and he has been determined, he has been stubborn sometimes but he is always somebody you can depend on and always the first name on the team sheet.

For Essex it is a dream come true.

I understand he wants to play for Essex next year and knowing Alastair like I do, he will give the same commitment as he did for England.

He has decided he has run his race at international level and I can understand that as he has done it for 12 years.

We are all sad he will no longer be wearing the three lions but he is going to move on so we must look back and rejoice in what he has done for our country.