Former England skipper Alastair Cook has announced his retirement from Test cricket with the fifth and last Test match at the Oval against India set to be his swansong.
Cook, who is the leading run-scorer for England in Test cricket (currently 12,254) and their most capped Test cricketer (the Oval Test will be his 161 Test appearance) has endured a poor run-of-form throughout the summer and his position had come under scrutiny after a string of under-par performances in the ongoing series against India.“After much thought and deliberation over the last few months I have decided to announce my retirement from international cricket at the end of this Test series against India,” Cook said in a statement on Monday.“Although it is a sad day, I can do so with a big smile on my face knowing I have given everything and there is nothing left in the tank. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game. The thought of not sharing the dressing room again, with some of my teammates was the hardest part of my decision, but I know the timing is right.“I have loved cricket my whole life from playing in the garden as a child and will never underestimate how special it is to pull on an England shirt. So I know it is the right time to give the next generation of young cricketers their turn to entertain us and feel the immense pride that comes with representing your country.”“There are too many people to thank individually, but a special mention must go to the Barmy Army and all the supporters for their constant encouragement and also a special mention to Graham Gooch,” Cook added.“As a seven-year-old, I queued for his autograph outside Essex County Cricket Club and years later was so fortunate to have him mentoring me. Graham was my sounding board, especially in the early years of my career, spending hour after hour throwing balls at me with his dog stick. He made me realize you always need to keep improving whatever you are trying to achieve.””I would also like to thank Essex County Cricket Club for their help and support ever since I was 12, and I can’t wait to get fully involved with them in the 2019 season. I wish the England team every success in the future, and I will be watching with great excitement.” said Cook, who’ll continue playing or his county Essex in the 2019 season.Barring his 245 against the West Indies last summer and a magnanimous 244 at the MCG last December, Cook has endured a long period of underwhelming performances and has crossed 20-run mark twice in seven innings against India.Cook, who started his career with a hundred against India at Nagpur back in 2006 will finish his career against the same side at the Oval. As a captain, his finest hour will always be his series-winning heist in India back in 2012 where he led from the front with three hundred.
Cook, currently sits sixth in the list of all-time run-scorers in Test cricket behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921), Ricky Ponting (13,378), Jacques Kallis (13,289), Rahul Dravid (13,288) and Kumar Sangakkara (12,400).