Alastair Cook stepped down as England Test captain following a disappointing tour of India where they were defeated 4-0 in the five-match series. The 32-year-old star batsman has led England in 59 Test matches, more than any other England skipper in the past after he was appointed captain in August 2012. The name of Joe Root has been popping up of late for taking over the reins from Cook.
Cook’s record includes home Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015 and away series wins in India in 2012 and South Africa. Incidentally, that was the last Test series India lost at home and their unbeaten streak continues.
Cook has also led the one-day side for 69 matches between 2010 and 2014.
An ECB release said: “Cook discussed his decision with the Chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board, Colin Graves, on Sunday evening and has confirmed his continuing commitment to playing Test cricket to Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, and the selectors. His resignation has been accepted, the Board have been informed and the proper process has started to appoint the next Test captain — the 80th in England’s Test match history.”
Confirming his decision, Cook said: “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.
“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,” Cook said in a statement.
Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, said: “I want to thank Alastair, on behalf of the ECB and from a personal perspective, for the fantastic contribution that he’s made to the England Test team since taking over as Captain in 2012. His country owes him a great debt of gratitude; he’s led the team with determination, conviction and a huge amount of pride over the last five years and his record stands for itself. With more matches leading the team than anyone, including two Ashes wins, he deserves to be seen as one of our country’s great captains.”