Clarke: Alastair Cook has been a great ambassador for the game

Michael Clarke has described Alastair Cook as a ‘gentleman and a great ambassador for cricket’ in his tribute to the England opening batsman who will retire after the fifth Test against India.

Clarke and Cook squared off as captains in three Ashes series, Cook winning two of the three, and the former Australia skipper was complimentary of Cook’s attitude and conduct as a cricketer.

“Alastair was a gentleman and a great ambassador for the game of cricket,” Clarke told News Corp Australia.

“I’ve always believed it’s not what you say, it’s what you do and he’s a great example of that.

“He wasn’t a big talker on or off the field but when he said something it was important, and that was the way he played.”

Clarke and Australia inflicted the biggest defeat of Cook’s captaincy when they whitewashed the poms 5-0 Down Under. And the now TV pundit said the opener has shown grit over the course of his career in reaching 12,254 Test runs.

“He was a fighter and he batted in what I believe is the toughest position in our game, opening the batting,” Clarke added.

“He found a way to score runs in all conditions and that’s a sign of a great player, that he can adapt and find a way to be successful all around the world. He probably hasn’t received the credit he has deserved for being such a good player.”

England selectors have opted to stick with Keaton Jennings to partner Cook in his final Test at the Oval, a ground where the Essex batsman averages 45.40 in Tests and in one run away from scoring 1,000.

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