Alastair Cook has decided to step down as captain of the England Test setup. According the England & Wales Cricket Board website, Cook had first discussed his decision with the Board Chairman Colin Graves and later conveyed to Direct of England Cricket Andrew Strauss his continuing commitment to playing Test cricket for the country.
“It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years,” Cook is quoted as saying by the ECB, “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.”
He also said that it was 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.”
On Saturday, Cook was awarded the honorary post of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). Having led England in 59 Tests, he is the country’s most capped captain in the longest format of the game. He is also regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific batsmen ever to play for England. Cook also led England to their first Test victory in India since 1984–85. He also has two Ashes victories under his belt as captain.
Cook’s captaincy came under the scanner following England’s poor performance at Bangladesh and their disastrous five match Test series against India. Cook managed to score a century in the first Test but England went on to be routed 4-0 in the series by a rampant Indian side.