In a much-anticipated move, Alastair Cook has quit his position as captain of the England Test side.
Cook, 32, skippered a record 59 Tests for the national team and became England’s leading run scorer in May 2015. Last year against Sri Lanka, Cook became the youngest player to reach 10,000 Test runs, breaking the record set by Sachin Tendulkar.
‘Incredibly hard decision’
Speaking about his resignation, Cook said: “It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years.
“Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team.”
Cook, who has played infrequently for Essex during his time as England captain, also led England to two Ashes triumphs in 2013 and 2015. Between those two victories, however, Cook went nearly two years without a Test century, England slipped in the world rankings, and Cook stepped down as ODI captain.
— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) February 6, 2017
End of the Road
The 2015 Ashes triumph, coupled with some decent results against New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka, kept Cook in command of the Test side for a while longer.
But late last year, England visited India and were annihilated in the five-match series, 4-0. Cook took some time to make a decision on his future, waiting until after the ODI and IT20 series were completed.
This morning, he announced that his days as captain were over, while expressing the desire to continue on as a regular player in the side. Cook has appeared in 140 Tests, another England record.
Cook will still make appearances for Essex and the County side, who won promotion to Division One in 2016, will welcome any appearances from Cook, who has scored almost 20,000 First-Class runs, with an average of just under 48.
England have yet to name a replacement for Cook, although vice-captain Joe Root is the current favourite.