Essex's Cook resigns as England captain

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After returning to England and with some time in his hand, Cook made a decision to step down as Test captain after 59 matches in charge.The 32-year-old had taken over from Andrew Strauss and since became England's most successful captain in the traditional format. He was appointed captain in 2012 after Andrew Strauss's retirement and has since led the team to Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015, as well as series wins in India and South Africa. Cook tendered his resignation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves yesterday, but intends to continue playing Test cricket.

Alastair Cook has resigned as England Test captain after a record 59 matches in the role. A list of suitors to partner Cook was one with too many names on as the European Central Bank scurried to identify their equivalent of New Zealand's Tom Latham or South Africa's Dean Elgar.

The new partnership answered the questions asked by a Kiwi attack fast becoming one of the finest tuned in cricket: Lyth hit a maiden century in the second Test to coincide with Cook surpassing Graham Gooch's record for most Test runs by an Englishman.

"It was a hard decision because of how much I've loved being captain", Cook, England's leading scorer in tests with 11,057 runs, including almost 5,000 as captain, said.

Cook's county cricket club, Essex, also paid tribute to him, saying: "Congratulations on everything you have achieved Cooky".

The published intention is that what appears to be a formality will be concluded before England depart for their short one-day global tour of West Indies on February 22, and it is understood the most likely timetable will take in an official announcement by the end of next week at the latest.

" I don't think it changes me".

"I think Joe would do a terrific job", said Gale.

"He has got a very good cricket brain, he is part of a newer generation and he's a bloody good cricketer".

Joe Root has been tipped to step up from his role as vice-captain to lead the side in the longest format.

England lost eight of its 17 Tests in 2016, including a first test defeat to Bangladesh, and the demands of the job looked to have taken its toll on Cook.

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann told BBC Radio 5 live he felt the pressure of potential Test captaincy was already affecting Root's batting. "There is only so much you can do to prepare for the job, and playing in the England set-up for a number of years, understanding the demands of global cricket, that is really important".

"I don't think there's an issue with him captaining, he's too good a player". It was the most hard period of Cook's captaincy and much of it had to do with his perceived role in Pietersen's removal, a decision that split English cricket down the middle.

His England under-19 alumni were even more impressive, with Root playing in the same age group side as James Vince, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jake Ball and Danny Briggs.

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