Former England skipper Alastair Cook has decided to call time on international cricket, stating the fifth Test between England and India at Oval will be his last. The left-handed batsman is the most decorated batsman in his country's Test history.
While his 12-year long career has been filled with many glorious days, he has been well out of form in recent times. The 33-year-old is currently undergoing a shocking run of form, with just one half-century in last nine matches.
In the ongoing Test series against India, he has managed just 109 runs in seven innings at an average of 15.57. And with the series won and only one more Test to go, he believes the time is right to walk away from the game.
A official statement was released by England Cricket on Twitter, wherein Cook said, "After much thought and deliberation over the last few months I have decided to announce my retirement from international cricket at the end of this Test series against India.
“Although it is a sad day, I can do so with a big smile on my face knowing I have given everything and there is 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 made his Test debut against India in 2008, a match in which he scored a half-century in his debut innings, and a century in the second innings. A tall and lanky batsman known for his perseverance, he was a proper Test batsman who could bat all day long.
In his 12-year long Test career, he has played 160 matches (which will become 161 after fifth Test) and has scored 12,254 runs, making him the highest capped and leading run-getter of his nation. Overall, he is the seventh most capped player in Test history, and sits sixth in the list of batsman with most runs. Cook will have chance to overtake Kumar Sangakkara and finish as the fifth highest run-getter should he manage 147 runs in the fifth and final Test against India.