England’s opening batsmen Alastair Cook has announced his retirement from international cricket after the fifth and final test against India at the Oval on Friday.
Cook, most commonly known as Chef, is England’s most prolific Test Match run-scorer with 12,254 runs in 160 tests.
At the age of 33, Cook is the sixth highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket, and if he manages to score 145 runs in his final game, he’ll move into fifth position above Kumar Sangakkara.
The four-time Ashes winner started off his Test match career with a bang, scoring a century on debut in 2006 as a 21-year-old in Nagpur, India, and it seems fitting his final Test would be against the team where it all began.
Along with being the standout batsmen in England’s Test match history, no other English player has also come close to his 32 centuries.
In adjacent to those 32 centuries, Cook also has a Test match wicket to his name, dismissing Ishant Sharma at Trent Bridge in 2014.
Cook will finish off his career holding the record for most consecutive Test matches by any player with 159 games in a row.
In a statement provided by the ECB.co.uk, Cook states its a sad say but he can do it with a big smile knowing he has given his all and there’s 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,” Cook said.
“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 has experienced all the ups and downs that comes with playing professional cricket for your country, as having captained his side to some of the greatest Test matches wins, to being dropped as ODI captain in the Christmas of 2014.
As captain, Cook finished with 24 wins from 59 games, the second-most successful winning record for an English captain, which included a famous series win in India in 2012, along with the 2013 and 2015 Ashes series.
Cook said there has been so many people who have influenced his career and there’s too many people to thank.
“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,” Cook said.
“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.
The left-hand batsman has always had an orthodox batting technique, although, it has worked for him over the last 12 years finishing with the average of 44.88.
The announcement might not come as a shock to many, as Cook has struggled with form over recent matches, only averaging 18.62 in nine Tests this year, and a lapse of concentration seeming to enter the once steel trap mentality of Cook’s.
However, Cook won’t stray far from the cricket pitch, continuing to play for his county of Essex, and may well become a coach in the future.
Cook explains the timing is right to step away from the international scene.
“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,” Cook said.
“I wish the England team every success in the future, and I will be watching with great excitement.”
Cook will go out a winner with England having already securing a series win against the World Number 1 Test team, but will be looking to farewell their champion batsmen on a high.