England opener with an illustrious 12-year career, Alastair Cook announced his retirement from international cricket. His last match will be the final match in the five-match Test series against India at the Oval. This match will be his 161st Test for England.
In his 12 year career, Cook has captained the English team and is the sixth highest run-scorer in Test cricket. He has scored 12,254 runs that include 32 centuries and has an average of 44.88. This also made him the highest run-scorer for England in Test cricket. Cook did say he will continue to play for Essex next season.
Cook has played 92 ODI matches for the country, scoring 3204 runs with an average of 36.41.
Cook has been going through a tough time the last few years, being unable to score much and his average dropping to 18.62. The ongoing Test series against India has been the first time where Cook hasn’t been able to score fifty-plus runs.
Cook has said that he has loved cricket his whole life ever since he played it in the garden as a child. He will never underestimate the feeling of putting on an English shirt. He believes it is time for the next generation of young cricketers to take his place and entertain the fans and feel that immense sense of pride he felt while playing for and representing the country.
“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.” Cook said in a statement.
Cook also said that the thought of being unable to share a dressing room with his teammates was one of the hardest parts of his decision. Nevertheless, he felt that the time was right.
Cook also thanked a few people. These included Barmy Army as well as all the supporters for their constant motivation and encouragement. He also thanked his longtime idol, Graham Gooch. Cook said that it was a dream come true, when the man he waited for outside the Essex County Cricket Club for an autograph, would be mentoring him a few years later. He also credited Gooch by saying he was the one that made Cook realize that one should always improve whatever they are trying to achieve.
Lastly, he also thanked his family for supporting him to live his dream for 12 long years. He thanked his parents, brothers, wife as well as her family for their undying support.
“As cricketers, who travel frequently, we often don’t realise just how important our families are to our success,” Cook said.
Cook is sure to get a warm send-off after the 5th and last Test match against India at the Oval.