ALASTAIR COOK QUITS! England's greatest-ever batsman retires after 161 Tests and more than 12,000 runs as he insists 'the timing is right' ahead of send-off at The Oval
Alastair Cook stepped down from Test cricket after a heartfelt address to his England team-mates following Sunday's series-clinching win over India.
This week's fifth Test at the Oval will be Cook's 161st and last, bringing down the curtain on the most prolific of England careers. Nobody comes close to his 160 Test caps, nor his 12,254 runs.
One eyewitness described the scenes as 'emotional' as Cook, who is only 33, spoke of his plans to step down at the end of a series in which he has fallen well short of his usual standards.
'Although it is a sad day, I can retire with a big smile knowing I have given everything and there is nothing left in the tank,' Cook said in a statement on Monday.
'I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some greats of the English game.
'The thought of not sharing the dressing room again with some of my team-mates was the hardest part of my decision, but I know the timing is right. I have loved cricket my whole life, from playing in the garden as a child, and will never underestimate how special it is to pull on an England shirt.