London: Alastair Cook has stepped down from captaincy after leading England in 59 Tests. He took up the role in 2012 and led the team in more Test matches than any other England captain.
Moreover, Cook has scored more runs (4844), more hundreds (12) and more fifties (36) than any previous England captain.
Cook took the decision after having a word with England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Colin Graves on Sunday evening and also confirmed about his continuing playing to Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss. ECB have accepted his resignation and the process have started to appoint the next Test captain. Also read-S Sreesanth terms Aakash Chopra two-faced in ugly Twitter spat over spot-fixing
The 32-year-old opener led England to Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. Only five players (Smith, Border, Ponting, Lloyd and Fleming) have scored more runs as Test captain than Cook (4844 runs).
“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 said. Also read-BCCI administrators sack officials appointed by Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke
“I’ve had time to reflect after the India series and this weekend I spoke to Colin Graves, the Chairman, to explain and offer my resignation. It’s a sad day personally in many ways but I want to thank everyone I’ve captained, all the coaches and support staff and, of course, the England supporters and the Barmy Army who follow us home and away and have given us unwavering support.
“Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can,” said Cook after playing 140 Tests and scoring 11,057 to date. England recently took a 4-0 away drubbing against India under Cook’s leadership.