England legend Alastair Cook to call time on international career after India Test

Alastair Cook announced on Monday he would retire from international cricket after the fifth Test against India. (AFP)
Updated 03 September 2018
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England legend Alastair Cook to call time on international career after India Test

  • Alastair Cook announced on Monday he would retire from international cricket after the fifth Test against India
  • The 33-year-old Essex left-hander has amassed 12,254 runs at an average of 44.88 including 32 hundreds

LONDON: Alastair Cook announced on Monday he would retire from international cricket after the fifth Test against India, with England’s leading Test run-scorer saying he had “nothing left in the tank.”
The 33-year-old Essex left-hander has amassed 12,254 runs at an average of 44.88 including 32 hundreds, while his run of 158 consecutive Test appearances is a world record.
But the former England captain, who has played in 160 Tests in total, has struggled for runs recently and averages a meagre 18.62 from nine Tests this year.
“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,” said Cook in an England and Wales Cricket Board 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,” the four-time Ashes-winner added.
“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. “
Cook said it would be tough to walk away but that the timing was right.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in their five-match series against India with a 60-run win in the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday.
But Cook, who scored a century on Test debut against India at Nagpur in 2006, has managed just 109 runs from his seven innings in the series at 15.57.
He is sixth in the all-time list of leading Test run-scorers, having surpassed mentor Graham Gooch’s previous England record of 8,900 runs three years ago.
Gooch was also a predecessor of Cook’s as an Essex and England opener, as well as Test skipper.
“There are too many people to thank individually, but a special mention must go to Graham Gooch,” said Cook, who is to continue playing for Essex.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain described Cook — about to become a father for the third time — as a “truly remarkable cricketer.”
Speaking to Sky Sports he said: “To carry on this long... You’d think somewhere along the line you’d lose form or fitness. Huge credit to the lad. He’s been England’s best player.”
Alec Stewart, another former England skipper, paid tribute to his robustness, telling BBC radio: “That record of over 12,000 runs, if someone breaks it they’re very, very good players, but it will take a long, long time to get there.”


Manchester City boss Guardiola gives Tommy Fleetwood a Pep talk ahead of Ryder Cup

Updated 25 September 2018
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Manchester City boss Guardiola gives Tommy Fleetwood a Pep talk ahead of Ryder Cup

  • World No.11 receives special message from Spaniard ahead of Europe's clash against the US
  • Fleetwood to make his Ryder Cup debut in Paris this week.

PARIS: Ryder Cup rookie Tommy Fleetwood will hope a message of motivation from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola can spur him on to success for Europe in Paris this week.
Fleetwood, introduced to Guardiola through a mutual friend, was on a Cheshire golf course with the City boss in April when his side were crowned Premier League champions following Manchester United’s defeat by West Brom.
The pair then struck up a partnership at Wentworth for the celebrity Pro-Am event ahead of the BMW PGA Championship in May, and Guardiola has shown his support for Fleetwood ahead of this week’s showdown with the US.
“We all have these videos in the room, these motivational videos, and he was one of the guys that sent a message to me,” Fleetwood said.
“I’m not sure he’s coming over. I’m sure he’s busy at the weekend but he might make it over. But yeah, we always talk quite a lot.
“He’s somebody that’s great to know.”
Guardiola gushed about his first-hand Ryder Cup experience as a fan at the 2012 edition in Medinah, when Europe pulled off a remarkable final-day comeback to stun the Americans on their home patch.
The Spaniard, then on a 12-month sabbatical after leaving his post at Barcelona, was invited to the tournament as a guest of European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
“He was at the Ryder Cup in Medinah, and he’ll always mention that that’s one of the greatest times he’s had in his life being at that Ryder Cup,” said Fleetwood.
“Yeah, it was a very special time. It has a special place in his heart, the Ryder Cup, and he’s been very supportive through the whole thing.
“Maybe we’ll see him, I don’t know.”
City are due to host Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday, not ruling out the possibility of Guardiola making an appearance for Sunday’s singles.