Indian cricket team gave Alastair Cook a standing ovation as he came out to bat in his final Test at The Oval. Cook bids goodbye to a 12-year Test career in what will be his 161st Test match and scoring over 12,000 runs to hold milestone of most Tests and most Test runs for England. As tradition goes, the opposition gives the retiring player three cheers as they come out to bat. It all began in 1930 when Jack Hobbs played his final Test.
Cook walked in to bat alongside Keaton Jennings when England won the toss in the fifth Test at The Oval. Crowd gave a roaring reception to the England opener with Indian players lined up to applaud what has been a glorious career. Cook will play for Essex in the English County following the end of his Test career.
“I did not know beforehand that any tribute would be paid to me,” Hobbs said as per The Telegraph. “Although I became a bit suspicious when I approached the middle, because the Australians were all clustered near the wicket, instead of going to their positions in the field. Suddenly (Bill) Woodfull’s voice rang out: ‘Three cheers for Jack Hobbs!’”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 7, 2018
“Off came their green caps, and they gave the cheers in the most cordial way. I could only answer: ‘Thank you very much, you chaps.’ I shall never forget the incident. It went right to my heart; it still goes to my heart whenever I think of it, and in a large measure compensates me for that tragic failure in my last Test innings, when I played on after scoring only nine runs.”
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The Oval has also seen Don Bradman play his final inning and rather tragically be dismissed for a duck and missing out on what would have been a perfect Test average of 100. Bradman retired at The Oval in 1948.
It hasn’t been all doom at The Oval in a player’s final innings. Six players have scored centuries in their farewell Test at The Oval – Reggie Duff (1905), Jack Sharp (1909), Bill Ponsford (1934), Maurice Leyland (1938), Kenneth ‘Bam Bam’ Weekes (1939) and Raman Subba Row (1961).