Alastair Cook resigns as England captain

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Alastair Cook

MNA Sports Desk: Alastair Cook has stepped down as England’s Test captain after 59 matches in charge of the team.

Cook vowed to take time to consider his position after a 4-0 Test series defeat in India late last year and the opening batsman offered his resignation to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Sunday.

The 32-year-old’s resignation was accepted, with Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss revealing that a successor should be announced before the team travel to West Indies on February 22.

Alastair Cook, England’s leading scorer in Tests with 11,057 runs, became captain in August 2012 and led his country to Ashes glory on home soil in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa.

Yorkshire batsman Joe Root is the early favourite to take over with an announcement expected in the next fortnight.

“It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years,” Cook, 32, said in a statement.

“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.”

Cook, who also led England in a record 69 one-day internationals between 2010 and 2014, is the country’s most capped Test skipper and has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain.

He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2012 and ICC World Test Captain in 2013.

He tendered his resignation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves on Sunday, but intends to continue playing Test cricket.