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Cook excited for special century

Alastair Cook considers his opportunity to make his 100th Test appearance during the Ashes

Alastair Cook is relishing the prospect of joining England’s 100 Club during the Ashes.

Cook has been an ever-present in the Test arena since making his debut as a 21-year-old in Nagpur seven and a half years ago.

He is on course to break England's Test appearance record - Alec Stewart is the holder with 133 caps - which is perhaps unsurprising given his century is set to be brought up in the third Ashes encounter with Cook still only 28.

The opener may even have an eye on emulating a feat Sachin Tendulkar is soon to reach before retiring - playing 200 Tests.

In typically calm fashion, the England skipper was unwilling to look too far ahead yet conceded reaching the seemingly impending three-figure mark will be special.

“I realised it was going to be at Perth but I had not thought too much about it,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“Obviously it would be a huge honour as not many guys have done it. If I do stay fit and do it, it would be a nice club to join.”

While such an individual achievement is worth celebrating, Cook is still more concerned with helping ensure England’s trip Down Under is a successful one.

“Hopefully it will not be overshadowed by the result,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the result and how many runs I score rather than the amount of caps.”

Cook’s ability to reach the mark so quickly comes about because of the extra cricket played in this generation.

And while some consider it a bone of contention, the Essex man takes heart from the chance it affords to build a fine career.

“That is the beauty of the amount of cricket we play,” he said. “We always talk about the amount we play and yes we do play a lot.

“But the flipside is that you get the opportunity to do something special and rack up serious stats or numbers quickly. I will be very proud if I do stay injury-free.”

He added: “You dream about being a professional cricketer and you dream, if you’re lucky, that you will play for England.

“But it looks such a long way away and you never think you’re going to be good enough. Maybe that helps your career.

“It’s been a good career so far. Hopefully there are a lot more runs to come and I can stay hungry and injury-free to play a few more years yet.

“I am very lucky to be playing for England. I think when we put on the cap and wear the Three Lions, it’s a time to cherish.”

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