Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England opener Alastair Cook has announced that he will retire from international cricket after the fifth Test against India at The Oval.
Cook will depart the game as England’s leading run-scorer in Test cricket with over 12,000 runs to his name. He also holds the record for captaining the country more times than any other player.
Cook conceded that he has been mulling over the decision for quite some time, and believes the time is right for him to hang up his boots.
“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,” he was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “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 team-mates 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 supporters for their constant encouragement for the team and also a special mention to Graham Gooch.
“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 realise you always need to keep improving whatever you are trying to achieve.
“My family and I have had 12 wonderful years fulfilling my dreams and this could not have been done without them. So I wish to thank my parents and brothers, my wife, Alice, and her family for their quiet, unwavering support behind the scenes. As cricketers, who travel frequently, we often don’t realise just how important our families are to our success.
“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.”
Cook made his debut for England in March 2006 and immediately made a name for himself as he scored an unbeaten 104 against India in Nagpur.
He was named captain in 2012 and led the side in 59 Tests, among which England won 24. During his tenure as captain, England won two Ashes series on home soil and also triumphed in India and South Africa.
Cook resigned as Test captain last year and was succeeded by Joe Root, who continues to hold the leadership position.
In the 160 Tests he has played, Cook has scored 12,254 runs, which includes 32 centuries and 56 half-centuries, at an average of 44.88.
He also featured in 92 ODIs, where he amassed 3,204 runs, which included five hundreds and 19 fifties, at an average of 36.40.
In regards to his Twenty20 International career, Cook played four matches and mustered 61 runs at an average of 15.25.