England cricket: Alastair Cook to retire after India Test series - reactions
The former captain is described as ‘one of England’s greatest ever cricketers’
England batsman Alastair Cook has announced that he will retire from international cricket after the fifth Test match against India at The Oval.
The 33-year-old is a former England captain and holds the country’s records for Test runs, caps and centuries. He is England’s highest-ever run scorer with 12,254 Test runs and 32 tons from 160 Test matches. Cook is also sixth on the list of all-time Test run scorers.
After making his international debut in 2006 against India, Cook became England skipper in 2012 and captained the team in 59 Tests. He led the side to two home Ashes victories and away series wins in India and South Africa, Sky Sports reports.
In a statement published on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) website, Cook said: “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.
“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.”
According to the BBC, Cook will continue to play county cricket with Essex next year.
The fifth and final Test of the series against India starts on Friday 7 September. England are 3-1 up in the series.
Cook retires: tributes to the former skipper
Colin Graves, ECB chairman: “Alastair’s selfless dedication to the England cause and his desire to succeed are an object lesson to any professional cricketer. As our highest ever Test run-scorer and most capped player, he fully deserves to be remembered as one of England’s greatest ever cricketers.”
Michael Vaughan, former England captain: “No player has given more to the England cricket shirt. No player has got more out of their ability. No player has shown more mental strength than Alastair Cook. More than that, he is the nicest cricketer we have ever had. Thanks for all the memories Cookie.”
Graham Gooch, former England captain and a former coach of Cook: “Alastair has been the rock of England’s batting for the past 12 years and, while we are all sad to see him retire, we must rejoice in what he has done for our country. He is a genuine legend of English cricket.”