One hour after the series was won, 20 minutes after the Indians had left, Alastair Cook stood outside the dressing room door with a beer and a smile. He waved to Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton who were standing down by the boundary, doing a post-game show. Beyond Cook, his team-mates sat with beer in hand, smiles on faces, and heads turned towards a big television. It’s not clear when he made the decision but it’s out now: he will retire after the fifth Test.
His third kid is expected to pop out anytime now and back at Edgbaston, after the game, he was walking with his two daughters, one wrapped in his arms, and the other shrinking away from the sprinklers on the ground. It was a cricket ground, but it could have been his farmhouse at Bedfordshire. His wife’s family have been running farms for generations and the life of Cook, who drove off with his wife in a tractor after the wedding at a church, has completely transformed since.
Things seem to have a way of happening in Cook’s life. Often, quite quickly, in a rush even before he expects it. Like his debut against India. He was lying on a beach in Antigua when the A team’s spin coach David Parsons asked him whether he has a deadline to make it to the England team.