News: Alastair Cook has said that he had been to the well too many times to carry on as England captain, as he spelled out his reasons for stepping down after a record 59 Tests in charge.
Speaking at Lord’s for the first time since his resignation was confirmed, Cook admitted that he had been left drained by a tough winter campaign in the subcontinent, which culminated in five Test defeats in England’s last six matches, including a maiden Test defeat against Bangladesh and a 4-0 series loss to India.
“It was an incredibly tough decision to make,” Cook told Sky Sports. “I’ve loved every minute as England captain, but it’s a job you have to commit 100% to, and there’ve been certain times throughout my four or five years in the job when I’ve been to the well and dug pretty deep.
“And coming back from India, the way I felt then, I didn’t think I had it in me to do it again, because this isn’t a job where you can operate at 95%.
“When I looked in that mirror, I felt it was time. It was sad in one way, because I’ve loved the honour and prestige of all of it. I’ve been leading some great men and had some great moments as England captain, but I do think it’s the right time for me and for the team.”
Cook’s career included some notable high points, not least his maiden series as full-time captain in 2012-13, when he led England to a stunning 2-1 series win in India, and last year’s away win in South Africa. But the low moments were particularly bruising, not least the Ashes whitewash in 2013-14, which presaged the most testing period of his tenure – the sacking of Kevin Pietersen ahead of the 2014 home season.
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