Bharat Sports – All the Latest Sports News, Scores, and Live Streaming

Former England captain Alastair Cook has announced his retirement from professional cricket.

Cook, 38, made the last of his 161st Test appearances in 2018 but continued to represent the county he spent his entire career with, Essex, until the final match of their 2023 campaign in late September.

The left-handed opener’s 12,472 Test runs is the most by any English batter, placing him fifth on the all-time list. His 33 Test centuries are also the most by an English player.

“It is not easy to say goodbye,” Cook said. “For more than two decades, cricket has been so much more than my job.

“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.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Take a look back at the highs and lows of Alastair Cook’s England Test career

Cook, who was knighted for services to cricket in 2019, captained the winning Ashes sides in 2013 and 2015 and has been part of two other England-winning sides in cricket’s greatest rivalry.

He holds the record for having played the most consecutive Tests for a team, having represented England in 159 successive matches.

Cook also captained England’s one-day international side, making 92 appearances in the 50-over format between 2006-2014. He also played for England in four T20Is.

ECB chief executive officer Richard Gould said: “Sir Alastair Cook has been a titan of the game whose legacy will not just be embodied in the numerous run-making records he achieved, but also in the leadership and grace that he always displayed during a long and distinguished career.

“He is a role model in every sense of the word and it has been an enduring privilege to witness his extraordinary talent and determination for both England and Essex. His genuine love for the game has always shone through and I wish him all the very best for the future.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Watch Alastair Cook’s first and only Test wicket against India in 2014

Cook made his first-class debut for Essex in 2003, ultimately playing for 20 seasons and ending his first-class career with 26,643 runs at an average of 46.41.

Cook was Essex’s leading run-scorer when he claimed the second of two County Championship titles in 2019.

“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Essex, the county I joined when I was aged 12,” he added. “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Chelmsford for everything you have given to me. All of the fans, members and staff have always been so supportive, patient and generous.

“When I ended my international career, I had no idea that I would have five more bonus years playing for Essex. I cannot put into words just how much fun we have had during that time. For that I want to thank head coach Anthony McGrath, Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Westley, my two captains during that time, and all of the players. I won’t miss strapping on my pads and facing the new ball, but I will miss being in the Eagles’ changing room.

“Playing a full part in the season when Essex won the County Championship in 2019 is one of my favourite achievements in the game.”

Cook’s greatest Test knocks for England

104no vs India, Nagpur, 2006

Cook initially burst onto the scene with a double hundred for Essex against the touring Australians during that famous summer of 2005.

The England selectors’ interest was certainly piqued and his maiden Test call-up would follow inside a year when drafted in as a late replacement on the tour of India in early 2006.

And Cook certainly did not disappoint, notching an unbeaten 104 on debut in Nagpur, while also adding a further fifty to become only the fifth Englishman to score a hundred and half-century on debut. Not a bad start.

Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this.
Open Privacy Options

105 vs Pakistan, Lord’s, 2006

Despite his starring debut, opening the batting in Nagpur, the England selectors still opted to shunt the 21-year-old down to No 3 in the order to accommodate the returning Marcus Trescothick that summer.

Never mind. Cook fell 11 runs short of scoring a hundred in his first Test on home soil, against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, but made amends weeks later against Pakistan at the Home of Cricket.

Far from a vintage display – he was dropped three times and nearly ran himself out going from two to three figures – this was Cook at his most gritty, digging in for a total of 279 balls.

235no v Australia, Brisbane, 2010

With England under the pump yet again to open an Ashes series in Australia – trailing by 221 after the first innings in Brisbane – they needed someone to step forward and lead from the front.

Step forward Cook, who was monumental – and not just in that innings, but the entire series.

Specifically in that second innings, Cook batted for 10-and-a-half hours, putting on 188 for the opening wicket alongside captain Sir Andrew Strauss and an unbeaten 329 for the second wicket with Jonathan Trott as England declared on 517-1.

Cook went on to score 766 runs, at a stonking average of 127.66, as England would ultimately record their first Ashes series win down under since 1987.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

We look at some of Alastair Cook’s best moments as England captain, including Ashes wins and beating South Africa away from home

294 v India, Edgbaston, 2011

Cook’s highest first-class score – founded upon his seventh hundred in 18 Test innings – showcased his incredible focus.

Here’s how then captain Strauss remembers it: “The key to that innings was Cook’s ability to maintain concentration and play the same way throughout – he didn’t really up the gears, he just kept batting in his usual non-fussy way.”

The left-hander batted for 773 minutes, facing 545 balls – his innings grinding India into the dust as England racked up 710-7 before cruising to victory by an innings and 242 runs.

147 vs India, The Oval, 2018

India were again at the mercy of Cook as his international career ended with perfect symmetry – a hundred against India on debut to start and a hundred to finish.

Cook rounded off a record-breaking career with a highly-emotional 147 at The Oval in his 161st and final Test.

That knock was his 33rd Test ton and, during it, he surpassed Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara to become the fifth-highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket.

Cook, at the time, became the only player from his country – and the 13th from any nation – to pass 10,000 runs in Tests. Joe Root has since followed in his footsteps as England’s second to reach the mark and the 14th in total.

 » …