(Photo Courtesy: Sky Sports)
England test opener Alastair Cook has called time on his record-breaking career, bringing to an end, a 12-year chapter in English cricket. The opener will make his final appearance for the national team in the fifth and final test vs India at Oval on Friday.
The 33-year-old who will have played 161 test matches at the end of this series has had a career to remember. Right from his century on debut at Nagpur in 2006, Cook has grown immensely with the bat and now stands as England’s highest run-getter in the format with 12,254 runs which include 32 centuries.
Issuing a statement following England’s series triumph in Southampton, Cook said that, “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 felt 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,” said Cook.
Later Cook also went on to thank his family members, his wife, and his mentor Graham Gooch.
“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.
“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 realize you always need to keep improving whatever you are trying to achieve.“
“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 realize just how important our families are to our success.”
“I would also like to thank Essex 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,” said Cook.
Cook also has had the privilege of captaining his side for four years. He amassed most of his runs during that period. Since stepping down in February last year, Cook’s form has deteriorated drastically. Following his international retirement, Cook will continue to play for his home side, Essex.