He is England’s leading all-time Test run-scorer and has 72 first-class centuries under his belt.
In 291 Test innings, Sir Alastair Cook was only bowled 35 times, but now 15-year-old Kyran Shackleton can count himself among those who have shattered his stumps.
Cook turned out for Bedfordshire Young Farmers CC in a 12-over game against Potton Town.
But after making 20 from 15 balls, he tried to swing the young seam bowler to the leg-side and his middle stump was knocked back.
“I was expecting to bowl at him, get hit about a bit and that would be it,” Kyran told BBC Three Counties Radio.
“Last night I sat up and watched the video of me bowling him over and over for about an hour. I just can’t get over it.
“He’d hit me for two boundaries in a row. You could see he was starting to move up the gears and then all of a sudden I just got him out.
“No-one really knew what to say. I just walked past him because I didn’t know what to do either.”
Kyran finished with 4-37 from his four overs as the Young Farmers made 128-7, replying to Potton’s 154-3, to lose by 26 runs.
“Kyran was already bowling when Alastair walked in. We had a conversation about keeping to his line and length and trying to imagine it wasn’t who it actually was,” Potton skipper Sean Stevens told BBC Sport.
“He can be a bit hit or miss. He took five wickets in his first game of the season for the Saturday first XI but sometimes he doesn’t bowl as well – he is young and still developing.
“I don’t think he knew what to feel after getting him out. He was beaming from ear to ear – a sort of ‘what have I just done’ look.”
Young Farmers captain Jim Spiers had chosen to field after winning the toss and then had to suffer while Stevens smashed an unbeaten 105 off 55 balls, with six sixes and 11 fours.
Cook – whose wife comes from a farming family and once said “I love it when you’ve got your boots on and you’re standing in three inches of cow muck” – does not regard himself as much of a bowler and his one over towards the end of the Potton innings cost him 14 runs.
“It was surreal to be facing him – you are obviously concentrating on what you are doing and then it’s Alastair Cook bowling from the other end,” Stevens said.
“I’d bowl him for my team. He was putting it on the spot. But it was weird to be involved in a moment like that.”
Shackleton, who was not even born when Cook made his first-class debut aged 18, had no idea the Essex batter would be in the opposing side until shortly before the start.
“We were aware that he plays for them occasionally, but didn’t know whether he might turn out or just come to watch,” Stevens said.
“It was only five or 10 minutes before the start that we knew he’d be playing when he walked round the corner of the pavilion with his kit.”
Cook had some photos taken with the Potton players following the game before having a chat with them in the bar – and there were clearly no hard feelings towards Kyran.
“He was really good about it. He seems really nice. He told me I bowled well but we didn’t really speak long enough for him to give me any advice,” he added.
“Some of the shots he played were ridiculous. Anything on the pads he’d just clip off and you didn’t doubt it was going for four.
“He played this one drive, I tried to get my hand down and I just couldn’t get to it. By the time I’d turned round it had already gone to the boundary.
“I didn’t feel he hit it that hard, he kind of just punched it. I’m just so glad I got the chance to bowl at him.”
Cook’s batting pedigree
- 161 Tests, 12,472 runs, 33×100, 57×50, highest score 294
- 92 ODIs, 3,204 runs, 5×100, 19×50, highest score 137
- 330 first-class matches, 25,324 runs, 72×100, 118×50
- 178 List A games, 6,510 runs, 13×100, 38×50
- 32 T20 games, 892 runs, 1×100, 5×50, highest score 100 not out