London, October 13: Former England skipper and their leading Test run-scorer Alastair Cook announced his retirement from professional cricket after a 20-year career on Friday. He made his first-team debut for Essex in May 2003. Speculations have been building on his retirement for the past few days as the 38-year-old batter continued to play in County Cricket with Essex.
“Today I am announcing my retirement and the end of my career as a professional cricketer,” Cook said in a statement on the Essex website. “It is not easy to say goodbye. For more than two decades, cricket has been so much more than my job. It has allowed me to experience places I never dreamed I would go, be part of teams that have achieved things I would never have thought possible and, most importantly, created deep friendships that will last a lifetime,” Cook added.
“From the eight-year-old boy who first played for Wickham Bishops Under 11s to now, I end with a strange feeling of sadness mixed with pride. Although above all, I am incredibly happy,” Cook said. “It is the right time for this part of my life to come to an end. I have always given absolutely everything I possibly have to be the best player I could be, but now I want to make way for the new generation to take over,” Cook signed off saying.
Cook has one of the most decorated careers for the Three Lions in the red-ball format as he amassed 12,472 runs in Test. He made his debut for England on a tour of India in 2005-06 and since that series, he earned 161 caps for his country and captained 59 of those matches. After ending his time with the national team in 2018, Cook continued to play County Cricket for five seasons, playing a major role in Essex’s Division One title in 2019. In a career that was full of exceptional moments, Cook equalled the record in May 2018 as England took the field against Pakistan at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. The feat was long held by former Australia captain Border as he appeared in 153 consecutive Tests. (ANI)