Alastair Cook has resigned as captain of the England cricket team after a record 59 Test matches in the job. ‘It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years,’ Cook said. ‘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. 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.’ Here are five of the standout moments from Cook’s time in charge of the team…
1. Record breaker – In 2015, Cook passed his mentor Graham Gooch’s record to become England’s all-time Test run scorer. Last year, Cook also became the youngest player to pass 10,000 Test runs at the age of 31, five months and five days, and broke the record for most Test appearances by an England player.
2. Winning in India – Although the recent disastrous tour to India is ultimately what did for Cook as captain, one of his most impressive achievements was the series win there in 2012-13. England won 2-1 with Cook top scoring with 562 runs and being named man of the series. Leading England to victory in South Africa in 2015-16 was no mean feat, too.
3. Ashes double Cook led England to two home Ashes victories against the old enemy. In 2013, England comfortably beat the Aussies 3-0 and then came back from a 5-0 drubbing down under to regain the little urn in 2015.
4. 263 vs Pakistan An innings to sum up Cook’s qualities as a gritty, steadfast bastman. His performance in Abu Dhabi, that helped England to a draw, saw him bat for 836 minutes for his 263 – the third-longest innings by time in Test history and the longest ever by an Englishman.
5. Wicket taker The Test match against India at Trent Bridge in 2014 ended in a draw, but the match’s last knockings were illuminated by Cook grabbing an improbable wicket after putting himself on to bowl. The skipper had Ishant Sharma caught down the leg-side.