Cook steps down as England Test captain

Alastair Cook has stepped down as England’s Test captain, but will still continue as a player.

Appointed permanently in 2012, Cook led his country in 59 Tests, more than any other England captain.

The 32-year-old led his country to two Ashes victories against Australia, in 2013 and 2015, as well as series wins over India and South Africa away from home.

Confirming his decision, Cook said: "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.

"It's a sad day personally in many ways but 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."

The left-handed opening batsman will continue to be available for selection as England prepare to host South Africa in a four-match Test series in July.

Cook is England's highest run-scorer in Test history with 11 057 runs after playing in 140 Tests.

He added: "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."

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