Alastair Cook is getting married on New Year’s Eve. 99.94 has secured a transcript of the Best Man’s speech, which may – or may not – be authentic. Here it is.
When I was asked to be Best Man for Alastair, I was delighted – but I needed help, so I asked some friends and colleagues about what makes him special. I’ve got some notes here of what they said, “Once he gets in, he can stay in for hours, though he does need to up his tempo once he’s got through a nervous start. He does make it easy for his partner who can just get on with things their end, knowing he’ll keep ticking over in his own bubble. All those years of practice on his own (or possibly with Graham Gooch to help him) have paid off and he’s now able to pull out a big one almost at will”. That was Andy Flower. I asked Alastair’s wife-to-be the same question and she said, “Once he gets in…”.
It’s great to see so many of the faces that have been with Alastair during his triumphs for England – and it’s great to see Ravi here too. It’s also great to see so many players from Essex who have been with Alastair from the start, supporting him in his England ambitions, revelling in his success and welcoming him back to his home county when not required by his country – and it’s great to see Ravi here too.
We’ll soon be able to let our hair down – though not you Matt obviously – but before we do, I know Alastair wants me to say a few words to some of his colleagues here today because he knows that most of you would rather be at home with your families, like KP. Alastair was particularly grateful to Straussy for sticking by him when he was in a run of poor scores in 2010 and he’s pleased to have been able to return the favour in 2011 and on into 2012 and beyond. Trotty has shown him the importance of being able to relax at a cricket ground – when he bats, most of the crowd are so relaxed that they’re asleep. Swanny is the joker in the pack, despite KP describing him as a knave the other day, and Alastair really looks forward to when Swanny fulfils his ultimate ambition in the game and takes over Bumble’s seat in the commentary box.
So before, like Alastair scoring a century, I overstay my welcome and everybody starts to drift to the bar and check their texts, I’d like to wish Alastair and his lovely bride all the best. And can somebody check that Freddie’s all right down there please?