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Cook to end England career with “nothing left in the tank”


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LONDON (Reuters): Alastair Cook, England’s leading test run-scorer, is to retire from international cricket after this week’s fifth test against India, the 33-year-old said on Monday.

Cook, who will play his 161st test starting on Friday, is the sixth highest scorer in five-day cricket with 12,254 runs, including 32 centuries.

The left-handed opening batsman, who captained England in 59 tests, admitted there was “nothing left in the tank” after enduring a poor run of form in nine tests this year in which he has averaged 18.62 runs compared with a career average of 44.88.

“After much thought and deliberation over the last few months I have decided to announce my retirement from international cricket at the end of this Test series against India,” Cook, who will continue playing for his county Essex next season, said in a statement.

“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.”

Since making a century on his test debut against India in 2006, Cook has become England’s leading scorer in the longest form of the game.

He thanked his mentor Graham Gooch, whose England test runs record of 8,900 Cook passed in 2015.

“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,” Cook said.“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.”

Cook led England to two Ashes victories over Australia but suffered a 5-0 series whitewash Down Under in 2013-14. He resigned from the captaincy in 2016 after a 4-0 defeat in India.

England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the current series against India after winning the fourth test by 60 runs in Southampton on Sunday.

The fifth and final test starts at The Oval on Friday.


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