Alastair Cook has stepped down from his role after 59 Tests as England Test captain.
Appointed in August 2012, Cook has led the team through more Test matches than any other England captain. His record includes Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. He also led the one-day side for 69 ODIs between 2010 and 2014, another England record.
Cook revealed the decision on Sunday evening and has confirmed his continuing commitment to playing Test cricket.
The 32-year-old considered his position over Christmas following the 4–0 defeat to India which ended a year in which England lost eight Tests.
Joe Root is reported to be in line to take over, with ben Stokes set to be second in command.
Cook is England’s most capped Test captain, has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain and is England’s most prolific Test batsman with 11 057 runs in 140 Tests to date.
During his five seasons at the helm he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year  and ICC World Test Captain  and his services to the game were recognised with a CBE to follow the MBE he was awarded in 2011.
Confirming his decision, Alastair Cook said:
‘It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years.
‘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.
‘Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can.’
Director of England Cricket and former England captain, Andrew Strauss, paid tribute to Cook.
‘His country owes him a great debt of gratitude; he’s led the team with determination, conviction and a huge amount of pride over the last five years and his record stands for itself. With more matches leading the team than anyone, including two Ashes wins, he deserves to be seen as one of our country’s great captains.
‘Off the field as well as on, he has shown his strengths, developing the team and its culture, managing a fundamental transition and helping us to build for the future. As with all leaders, there have been times where circumstances have tested him but his resilience and temperament have helped him to prevail and to prosper.
‘We now move on with the process of appointing the right successor.
There are a number of established players who are playing formal or informal leadership roles and whilst we’ve rightly not spoken to anyone in relation to the Test captaincy so far, we can now talk fully and openly within the team. We expect to be able to make an announcement before the team head to West Indies on 22 February.’
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