Former England captain Alastair Cook, on Friday (October 13), announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The decision has brought down curtains on his illustrious career that spanned for two decades.

The England legend had retired from international cricket in 2018 after the home series against India but continued plying his trade for Essex in the domestic circuit. He played five seasons for his county team before announcing his retirement from professional cricket. His contract with Essex has ended and he has decided against extending it.

“It is not easy to say goodbye. Cricket has been so much more than my job,” said Alastair Cook in a statement.

“It has allowed me to experience places I never dreamed I would go, be a part of teams that have achieved things I would never have thought possible and, most importantly, created deep friendships that will last a lifetime.

“From the eight-year-old boy who first played for Wickham Bishops Under-11s to now, I end with a strange feeling of sadness mixed with pride. Above all, I am incredibly happy,” he added.

Essex were waiting for the batting great’s decision since the end of the County Championship season.  Their coach Anthony McGrath stated that the county outfit was hopeful of seeing Alastair Cook in again but the the left-handed batsman informed the team he would be bringing an end to his playing career.

“It is the right time for this part of my life to come to an end. I have always given absolutely everything I possibly could have to be the best player I could be, but now I want to make way for the new generation to take over.

“I will never underestimate the privilege I have had to play cricket. I will always be grateful for what the game has given to me. Now, I hope the Bedfordshire Farmers will find space for a has-been ‘all-rounder’ somewhere in their lower order,” said Cook.

Alastair Cook’s illustrious career:

Alastair Cook has bowed out of the game as one of England’s most decorated batsmen. He made his first-class debut for Essex way back in 2003 in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy before going on to represent them in the County Championship in the year.

Overall, he has played 352 First-Class games and has scored a staggering 26,643 runs with the help of 74 centuries and 125 half-centuries. In international cricket, he played for England from 2006 to 2018. He made his debut against India in 2006 and famously hit a century in his maiden Test innings.

He brought down curtains on his Test career after playing 161 Tests and he played 159 of them consecutively, a world record. The southpaw holds the record for scoring most runs and centuries in Tests as an England player. He scored 12,472 runs with the help of 33 centuries in Tests. He also led his country in 59 Tests from 2012 to 2017.

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