Captain Alastair Cook became England’s highest run-scorer in test cricket while compiling a typically solid 75 against New Zealand in the second test on Saturday.
The 30-year-old left-hander drove paceman Tim Southee to the cover boundary shortly after lunch on the second day at Headingley to pass Graham Gooch’s tally of 8,900 runs.
“It was an amazing moment, a personal one,” Cook told the BBC.
The opening batsman, playing in his 114th test, raised his bat to all corners of the ground as he received a standing ovation from a packed crowd basking in warm sunshine.
Gooch, 61, had a major influence on Cook’s career in his time as England batting coach and with Essex, the county both men have represented.
“I’ve not heard from Goochie yet. I’m sure he’s somewhere in Essex enjoying a glass of red wine but I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him,” Cook added.
The left-hander went almost two years from May 2013 without an international century before scoring a hundred in the third test against West Indies this month.
Cook then followed up with a battling 162 in the first test against New Zealand at Lord’s.
“The last 18 months has been tough for me personally, that’s part and parcel of being a batter,” he told Sky Sports.
“When you are in a bit of form you have to make it count.”
Cook looked to be on course for his 28th test hundred as he shared a 177-run opening partnership with Adam Lyth on Saturday but he was trapped lbw by spinner Mark Craig 25 runs short.
“It is a huge battle to have longevity as a test cricketer, it is an amazing journey,” said the England skipper.
“I’m delighted that today was a special day.”
Cook is 13th on the list of test cricket’s leading run-scorers. Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar leads the way on 15,921. (Courtesy Reuters)