On expected lines, Alastair Cook has quit as captain of the England Test team. The pressure was mounting on Cook to step aside in the wake of the 4-0 drubbing received in India, which was preceded by the 1-1 draw in Bangladesh.
The England & Wales Cricket Board website confirmed that Cook had a discussion with ECB Chairman Colin Graves over the topic, after which he conveyed the final decision to Direct of England Cricket Andrew Strauss. He however emphasized that he was committed 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. 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 was quoted as saying by ECB.
The now former England skipper added that it was a sad day personally in many ways, but added, "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.”
Cook captained England in 59 Tests, the most by a leader for the country in the longest format of the game. Under Cook, England registered their first Test victory in India in 28 years. England also won two Ashes under him. However, England's poor showing in Bangladesh and India hurt Cook's reputation badly. He managed only one hundred in five Tests in India as the spinners conquered the Englishmen.
--By A Cricket Correspondent