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.”


Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

Updated 19 February 2019
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Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

  • It was Osaka's first match since she won the Australian Open — her second consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • World No. 67 Mladenovic lost for words after surprise win.

DUBAI: Naomi Osaka stumbled badly in her first match since winning the Australian Open as the world number one went down in a flurry of errors to exit the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.
Dubai-based Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory to reach the third round as Osaka made 25 unforced errors.
The rout, which featured seven breaks of the Osaka serve, took barely an hour, sending Mladenovic into a Wednesday contest with Carla Suarez Navarro.
“This is my home tournament, I live here,” world No. 67 Mladenovic said. “It’s great to get a win like this in front of a big crowd.
“Beating the number one is always special.”
The second set was riddled with seven consecutive breaks of serve before Mladenovic finished off the job with a winner to the empty court on match point.
Osaka stunned the tennis world last week by announcing her split from coach Sascha Bajin despite winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the US and Australian Opens.
She said earlier this week that she would not prioritize “success over happiness” when asked about the sacking, and she never looked like winning in Dubai as she also served five double faults.
Earlier on Tuesday, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both won their opening matches, while Elina Svitolina made a strong start to her bid for a third straight title.
Kvitova, the 2013 winner, recovered from losing a first-set tiebreak to defeat Katerina Siniakova 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4 and squeeze into the third round.
Halep, Dubai champion in 2015, saw off 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
The Romanian said she is still feeling the effects of her weekend final defeat in Doha by Elize Mertens.
“It was a good match because I won it. I tried to finish the points faster because I’m a little bit tired,” Halep said.
“She played well, the level was pretty good. At some points I really ran very well. I’m confident. I feel good on court even if I’m tired.”
A third former world number one also advanced as Angelique Kerber beat Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
Kvitova, Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, said she was unfazed about the early midday start to her match.
“I don’t really care if I play the first match,” the Australian Open runner-up said. “Now I’m done, so I have a free afternoon.
“I’m not sure what I’m pleased with... maybe with my comeback at the end.”