England: Alastair Cook on Monday became the first England cricketer to cross the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket, and the youngest overall, beating Sachin Tendulkar’s record set in 2005 by five months at the age of 31 years, five months. Tendulkar – Test cricket’s leading run-scorer – was 31 years, ten months 20 days old when he scored his 10,000th run in 2005.
England captain Cook, already his country’s leading Test run-scorer, came into the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street just 20 runs away from becoming the first Englishman to join the coveted 10k club. Cook was dismissed for 15 runs in the first innings and the landmark came in post-lunch session of the fourth day in the second over of the second innings when he flicked a Nuwan Pradeep delivery to mid-wicket for four. Next on England’s all-time run charts is Graham Gooch – incidentally Cook’s mentor at Essex – with 8900 from 118 matches.
Cook is the 12th batsman to get to 10,000 runs in Tests, after Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting , Jacques Kallis , Rahul Dravid , Kumar Sangakkara , Brian Lara , Shivnarine Chanderpaul , Mahela Jayawardene , Allan Border , Steve Waugh and Sunil Gavaskar. Pakistan’s Younis Khan is the next active batsman with a chance at entering the club, having 9116 to his name, and there is a chance he joins Cook with Pakistan playing four Tests in England later this summer.
Cook made his Test debut against India at Nagpur in March 2006 and scored 60 and 104 not out. He grew into the role of opener before taking over the Test captaincy from Andrew Strauss in late 2012. As captain, leading into the Headingley Test, 3751 of Cook’s overall runs had come as captain, with ten centuries and 18 half-centuries at an average of 46.88.
He has been in excellent form for Essex this season, with scores of 88, 105, 35*, 1, 127*, 65 142 and 48* in the County Championship for a total of 611 in eight innings.