Page 3 Profile: Alastair Cook, England cricket captain


The run machine strikes again?

Indeed he has. English cricket's captain fantastic, Alastair Cook, yesterday broke the record for England Test centuries, at the age of 27. The Gloucester-born batsman scored his 23rd century on the second day of the Third Test against India, beating the mark set by Wally Hammond in 1939 (and since equalled by three others). Cook's unbeaten 136 also made him the youngest batsman to reach 7,000 test runs, beating India's Sachin Tendulkar, though he still has a way to go to top Tendulkar's 51 Test centuries.

Could he do it one day?

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott – who has 22 Test centuries – stopped short of calling Cook one of the all-time greats, but suggested he could put the country's old cricket records to shame. "He'll be way up towards 40 [centuries] by the time he's finished, high 30s maybe," he said. David Cameron, meanwhile, took to Twitter following the "great news" to offer his "many congratulations".

Is he a bad boy like Flintoff?

Hardly. He's never pictured falling out of clubs, and married his childhood sweetheart last year. They left the church on a tractor. That's not to say he's completely clean. He once stole "some penny sweets from my local corner shop as a kid". "My mum won't be very happy when she reads this," he said.