Alastair Cook steps down as England Test captain

| Updated: Feb 06, 2017 22:19 IST

London [U.K], Feb.6 (ANI): Alastair Cook has stepped down as England's Test captain after a record 59 matches in charge, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Monday. Cook's decision comes days after England suffered a 0-4 defeat at the hands of India in the five-match Test series. According to ESPNcricinfo, Cook had first discussed his decision with the Board Chairman Colin Graves before confirming his continuing commitment to playing Test cricket for the country to Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, and the selectors. Considering it as a `great honour` to lead the Test side over the past five years, Cook admitted that although stepping down from the post was an `incredibly hard` move, it was a correct decision came at a right time. "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," Cook said. The England opener, who takes it as a privilege to represent his country, further went on to say that he is now looking forward to make full contribution as a Test player and help the upcoming captain in whatever way he could. "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," Cook said. "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," he added. The ECB, however, is yet to name Cook's successor, with Joe Root being tipped to take over the mantle with an announcement expected in the next fortnight. Cook, who was appointed as the captain in August 2012, is England's most capped Test skipper so far, having led the side to Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. The opening batsman, who is England's most prolific Test batsman with 11,057 runs in 140 matches till date, also led the one-day side for 69 matches between 2010 and 2014, another England record.(ANI)