Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former England left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom feels that opener Alastair Cook is bringing his international career to a close at the right time.
Cook announced that he would be retiring after the fifth Test against India, which will be held at The Oval and get underway on Friday.
While some feel that Cook should have prolonged his career, especially since England haven’t been able to find a permanent opening partner for him since Andrew Strauss retired back in 2012, Sidebottom believes otherwise.
“I think all captains get criticism however well they do. There are always spells when they are less successful,” Sidebottom told Sportstar Live. “I don’t think he won as much as Strauss or Hussain, but the best captains express themselves and Cook did. He used his experience and he was always a top player.
“He probably wants to spend some time with his family, at home too. He’s had an illustrious career and he wasn’t at his best in the last Test. But maybe he feels the time is right for a change.
“He’s had an amazing international career. He’s been at the top of the game for such a long time. One hundred and sixty Test matches – that is immense.”
Sidebottom played alongside Cook during his international career, and described the 33-year-old as “down to earth” and a “cool character”.
“It has never been about Alastair Cook!” he said. “He’s really down to earth, always happy, and he always spoke highly of others. He has this cheeky laugh and Buzz Lightyear jaw. I’m proud to have played with him. He was the best trainer, an iceman. He was a cool character.”
When asked about one of their funniest moments, Sidebottom said: “In Australia, we started playing credit card roulette in restaurants to see who picked up the bill. Cook was a bit tight!”