Former England captain Alastair Cook declared his retirement from cricket on Friday after declining to renew his contract with his long-time county side, Essex.
The left-handed opener had already retired from international cricket in 2018 after scoring the most Test runs of any English hitter and ranking fifth all-time after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, and Rahul Dravid. Cook’s contract with Essex expires at the end of the just-concluded domestic season.
“For more than two decades, cricket has served as so much more than my job,” said the 38-year-old Cook, who performed media work on TV and radio since retiring from England.
“It is time for this chapter of my life to come to an end.” I’ve always given all I’ve had to be the best player I could possibly be, but now I want to create room for the next generation.”
Cook put his hand up to continue playing at the lesser levels of the game in a statement confirming his retirement from top-level cricket.
“I hope the Bedfordshire Farmers will attempt to discover space for a has-been ‘allrounder’ someplace in their lower order,” he said in a follow-up email.
Cook took part in 161 Tests, captaining 59 of them. England and Wales Cricket Board referred to him as a “titan of the game.”
The goal is to ensure that his “legacy will not just take shape in the numerous run-making records he achieved, but also in the leadership and grace which he consistently displayed during a long and distinguished career,” Richard Gould, the head of the European Central Bank, stated.
“He is a role model in every aspect of the word and it has been an unending privilege to witness his extraordinary talent and determination for both England and Essex.”