And this year, the skipper hasn’t disappointed as he continues to impress the sporting world and fans alike at the helm of the England team.
During the second Test of a three test series with the West Indies in April, he made 76 runs in a 125 opening partnership – the first hundred-plus opening partnership Test haul since March 2013.
Alastair’s top form was followed up in May with 162 runs in the first Test against New Zealand and during the second test he went on to become England’s all-time Test top scorer, passing cricketing icon Graham Gooch. He is the first England player to score 9,000 Test runs and the first to score 1,000 Test runs against five different nations.
Despite a shaky start in the opening Test of the 2015 Ashes series against Australia, Alastair proudly led England to a 3-2 victory – the second of his captaincy so far.
“From the team’s point of view, to win like we’ve done is just beyond belief. I didn’t think we were quite ready to win the Ashes at the beginning because I thought you needed a group of players who were match-hardened,” said Alastair. “But the guys have surprised me. We have won really critical moments and the players have really stepped up which shouldn’t surprise me but it has. They have made big steps from guys with little experience to match winners and hardened professional players for England.”
“When you are so close to doing something which you dreamed of doing, you do get a bit emotional,” he said. “Probably you think of everyone there who supported you through the real tough times, mainly my wife, my family and her family. To support me like they have done probably took me over the edge.”
The personal milestones weren’t finished there. In October, Alastair scored his third double century and 28th Test 100 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. His shift lasted an incredible 836 minutes – which was the longest innings by an Englishman and third longest of all time. It proves that Alastair has what it takes to be a cricketing great – stamina, patience, undeniable skill – and he is a role model for others.
Self-confessed country boy and devoted family man, Alastair continues to bat for Essex where he established himself as a teenager and even finds time for charity work. Alastair embodies the term “inspirational performance” on and off the field and is worthy winner.