Alastair Cook’s stylish retirement from Test cricket was accompanied by broken records, gushing plaudits and one final century – but he surely never saw an honour of this magnitude coming.
A cricket enthusiast has illustrated all of Cook’s remarkable 161-match career, run by run, using Cook’s Matches.
The striking tribute was pulled together by Ollie Willems, 28, who founded and captains amateur London cricket team Two Bats Or Not To Bat (TBONTB).
The match masterpiece took Ollie and his friend three evenings to complete and displays Chef’s runs illustrated in a series of rows from left to right, with each match accounting for 10 runs.
Chopping up the matches to represent any score ending in 1 to 9 was a testing challenge,” Ollie told the Press Association. “Cook did always like a cut, though.”
Ollie came up with the idea when Cook stepped down as captain in 2017.
“I was listening to someone talk about it on the radio while in the kitchen, saw box of Cook’s Matches in the drawer, and it hit me,” he said.
“I never got round to doing it for his matches as captain, which was my initial thought, so have been thinking about it for a while.
“Like most bowlers have probably found over the years, the hardest part was waiting for him to finally get out.”
Ollie’s cricket team play last man stands cricket on Sundays and he says they “excel in making other teams look great”.
“(We) are nearly always short of players even though it’s only eight-a-side,” said Ollie, originally from Wrington, Somerset. “So we’re more than open to new players, especially if they don’t even know what cricket is.”
If you’d like a game of cricket with a side of sporting legend-appreciating match artwork buffs, check out their Twitter account.