33-year old Cook, who also captained England, is the sixth highest run-scorer in Test cricket with 12,254 runs at an average of 44.88. He is also the highest run-scorer for England in Test cricket and has earned a record 160 caps for his country.
However, Cook has been going through a torrid time of late and has failed to make any substantial contributions at top of the order. His average for the year has dropped to a paltry 18.62 — the third lowest among openers in 2018 to have played at least 5 Tests. The current series against India is the first with three or more matches where Cook has not scored a single fifty-plus score and it is for the first time since 2008 that Cook has been unable to score a ton in the first 9 Tests of a calendar year.
“Although it is a sad day, I can do so with a big smile on my face knowing I have given everything and there is nothing left in the tank. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game. The thought of not sharing the dressing room, again, with some of my teammates was the hardest part of my decision, but I know the timing is right," Cook said in a statement.
“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. So I know it is the right time to give the next generation of young cricketers their turn to entertain us and feel the immense pride that comes with representing your country."
“There are too many people to thank individually, but a special mention must go to the Barmy Army and all supporters for their constant encouragement for the team and also a special mention to Graham Gooch. As a seven year-old I queued for his autograph outside Essex County Cricket Club and years later was so fortunate to have him mentoring me. Graham was my sounding board, especially in the early years of my career, spending hour after hour throwing balls at me with his dog stick. He made me realise you always need to keep improving whatever you are trying to achieve."
“My family and I have had 12 wonderful years fulfilling my dreams and this could not have been done without them. So I wish to thank my parents and brothers, my wife, Alice, and her family for their quiet, unwavering support behind the scenes. As cricketers, who travel frequently, we often don’t realise just how important our families are to our success," he added.
The opener also said that he will continue to play for his county side Essex.
“I would also like to thank Essex County Cricket Club for their help and support ever since I was 12 and I can’t wait to get fully involved with them in the 2019 season.
“I wish the England team every success in the future, and I will be watching with great excitement.”
Cook remains the youngest player in history to score 6,000, 7,000, 8,000, 9,000, 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Test cricket. Cook resigned as captain after leading the side for an England record of 59 Tests including Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. He represented England in 160 Tests.
Off the field, Cook is known for his love for farming, describing it as his other passion in life outside cricket.
First Published: September 3, 2018, 4:31 PM IST