Alastair Cook, 32, who received Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) honor from Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, London on Friday February 3rd has quit as England captain. The move comes after England’s 4-0 series defeat in a 5 match Test series against India.
Calls were made for Cook to step down as a captain after England’s poor show on their tour of India which saw them losing the series in all three formats of the game. Cook discussed his decision with Colin Graves, the chairman of the ECB, on Sunday evening before making his decision public. Cook, the leading run scorer for England Test matches, will continue to be available for selection as a player for England.
Alastair Cook captained England in 59 Test matches (more than any other England captain). England won 24 matches, lost 22 and drew 13 matches under Cook’s helm, a period that saw England win 8 series and lose 4. Alastair Cook was first appointed as full time captain in August 2012 and he made an immediate impact when he led England to first Test series win in India in 28 years in December 2012, a series in which he had scored with 562 runs at an average of 80.28. England also had major success which includes Ashes wins in 2013 and again in 2015 for retention of the urn, a series win in South Africa in 2016. As a captain, Cook scored 4844 runs with the help of 12 centuries and 24 fifties 263 being his highest score.
ECB have plenty of time to pick the new captain since their Test match is scheduled to be played on 6th July vs South Africa at Lord’s however ECB might name the new captain before England flies to play ODI series against West Indies in the Caribbean on February 22. It is believed that Joe Root who has long been the deputy of Cook will take over as Test captain. Frankly, they don’t have any other option since the test team is fairly new and there are quit a few players still to find a confirmed berth in the XI. Only other man that comes to mind apart from Root is Stokes who looks able to lead the side but given the buzz in the air, it remains just a formality for ECB to name Root as Cook’s successor.