Captain Cook bows out as for a new skipper to take Root

Alastair Cook has resigned from the England Test captaincy's post after leading the English team to a record 59 Test matches, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Sunday.

Appointed in 2012, Cook led the team to Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015 and clinched stunning wins in India and South Africa along the way.

European Central Bank has started the process to appoint the next Test captain with batting mainstay Joe Root regarded as the favourite for the job.

Alastair Cook has said he had to step aside as England captain because he could no longer give his all to the role.

"I think he's done a wonderful job for England and I wish him all the best". He ends his tenure with a record of 24 wins, 22 losses and 13 draws - a win percentage of 40.67% which places him fourth most successful of all England captains to have led for more than 30 games.

With the minimum of fuss and maximum solidity at a time when he had to deal with plenty of turmoil within the team, Cook moulded himself into an impressive, respected leader while still managing to remain a towering batsman, England's all-time top scorer in Tests.

Cook's captaincy career included several notable achievements, including making three hundreds as he led England to their first series win in India in 28 years during his first series as full-time skipper in 2012.

"There are a number of established players who are playing formal or informal leadership roles and whilst we've rightly not spoken to anyone in relation to the Test captaincy so far, we can now talk fully and openly within the team". They made a decision to back their captain who was younger and more central to their plans going forward. Inconsistency of performance has been a highlight of the last two years particularly which Cook and coach Trevor Bayliss have been unable to change.

But freed from the vast demands of being captain, Cook will be hopeful of re-establishing himself as one of the best batters in the world ahead of a huge year for England, who host South Africa and West Indies before travelling to Australia for the Ashes.

However, while Strauss says the 26-year-old has impressed as vice-captain, he insists the Yorkshireman is not an automatic pick. I wasn't the be-all and end-all of it but that's the responsibility you have as England captain.

He added: "I look forward to the next part of my career, supporting the next guy as best I can, and hopefully scoring some runs as well and being part of England's success".

Strauss is pleased Cook also took the time available to make the right call.

"His country owes him a great debt of gratitude", said Strauss.

  • Eleanor Harrison