Alastair Cook could chase Sachin Tendulkar's record, says Ian Botham
Last Updated: 31/05/16 12:01pm
Ian Botham believes England captain Alastair Cook could play for five or six more years and challenge Sachin Tendulkar's all-time Test run record.
Cook, 31, became the youngest player to pass the 10,000-run mark in England's nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at Durham.
He still has some way to go before Tendulkar's record of 15,921 runs comes into sight.
However, Botham said on Sky Sports: "I think he's got a lot more runs to come yet, this is just a milestone for him. He's 31, he's got lots of time to go. In five years, he could be chasing Sachin. Who knows?
"He is fit enough, strong enough, and we know how mentally tough he is. He could play for five or six more years easily. It's down to him. It's how long he wants to play for."
Cook is the 12th player in history to pass 10,000 runs, and only the second opener.
This is just a milestone for him. He's 31, he's got lots of time to go. In five years, he could be chasing Sachin. Who knows?
He is also the first Englishman to reach the mark, and Botham thinks he has been helped by his interests away from cricket.
"He has a young family, his farming, he enjoys country pursuits, he is quite happy to go off on his own. I think that is important," Botham said. "It gives you time away from the game and you need that, you cannot do cricket 24/7."
Botham also believes Cook has benefited from not playing any one-day cricket in the last few years.
His last one-day international was against Sri Lanka in December 2014, and Botham said: "His best Test cricket has been when he has not been playing one-day cricket.
"He is so disciplined and it means he doesn't get caught between the two games. The best thing that happened to him was getting away from the one-day game."