Sports Cricket 03 Sep 2018 Alastair Cook announ ...

Alastair Cook announces retirement, 5th Test vs India at The Oval to be his last game

DECCAN CHRONICLE WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published Sep 3, 2018, 4:46 pm IST
Updated Sep 3, 2018, 5:13 pm IST
The former England skipper has been England's run-getter in Test cricket with 12,254 runs in 160 Tests.
“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," said the former England skipper Alastair Cook. (Photo: AFP)
 “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," said the former England skipper Alastair Cook. (Photo: AFP)

London: Alastair Cook, former skipper and England's highest run-getter in Test cricket, has announced his retirement from international cricket. The fifth and final Test against India at The Oval, starting on September 7th, will be Cook's final game.

The left-hander batsman decided to hang his boots on Monday, a day after Joe Root-led England clinched the five-match Test series against Virat Kohli's men.

The 33-year-old Essex left-hander is England's all-time leading Test runscorer with 12,254 runs at 44.88 including 32 hundreds, while his run of 158 consecutive Test appearances is a world record.

But the former England captain, who has played in 160 Tests in total, has struggled for runs recently and averages a meagre 18.92 from nine Tests this year.

“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," said Cook in a media release issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“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," added Cook.

“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," Cook continued.

“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," added the left-hander.

“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.”

England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in their five-match series against India with a 60-run win in the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday.

The England selectors have yet to announce their squad for the fifth Test at The Oval, which starts on Friday.

But it would be a major surprise if Cook was not allowed one last Test appearance prior to his international retirement.

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