Alastair Cook has stepped down as England Test captain after more than four years in charge. Cook led England 59 times with the high points winning two Ashes series on home soil in 2013 and 2015 and victory away in India in 2012 and South Africa last year.
Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test playerAlastair Cook
Cook will now concentrate on opening the batting and leading with the bat and attempt to overhaul Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most Test runs.
Cook said today: “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.
“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.”
Alastair Cook vs India at Edgbaston, 2011
Before lunch on Day Three, Alastair Cook registered his double hundred from 378 balls and soon moved past his previous best of 235 at Brisbane in November, and the milestones kept on coming. When he went to 247 it gave him the second-highest score by an England batsman against India, with only Gooch ahead of him with 333, and Cook’s 250 – which came from 485 balls – was the first such score for England since that 1990 epic by Gooch.
Despite the tremendous stamina from Cook, he was disappointed not to break the 300 run barrier. The chance to do that doesn’t come very often and he was so close, but 294 is not a bad score to have on your CV. Cook’s epic innings set England’s highest Test total at Edgbaston, beating 633-5 dec v India in 1979.
England vs Pakistan at Edgbaston, 2016
In his 50th Test as captain, and his 131st overall, Cook mastered the Pakistan bowling attack to draw level with ‘The Don’. Bradman, of course, needed only 52 Tests to compile his 29 centuries for Australia – but that should take nothing away from Cook’s achievement.
Speaking to the BBC on how the incredible victory against Pakistan ranked amongst his England wins Alastair Cook said; “It could be right up there. We seemed to be right behind for most of the game and when we got the chance to win the game we were fantastic.
“It was great character from the guys to come back and bowl like we did, and we batted well in the third innings of the game. To wipe out that deficit on that third evening was massive.
“Great credit to the four seamers. Also, the way Mo bowled into the rough after lunch – he bowled fantastically well after being under pressure for a while.”
See England vs West Indies this Summer
The UK’s first ever Day/Night Test Match will take place at Edgbaston on Thursday 17 – Monday 21 August when England return to their fortress to take on the West Indies. With an electric atmosphere, fancy dress and a huge range of fan activities, this historic match under the Edgbaston floodlights is a must see.
Tickets are on sale priced at just £6 for Under 16s and £26 for Adults