LONDON: England batsman Alastair Cook cried when he broke the news of his retirement to his team-mates but said that burn-out was not behind his decision to bring the curtain down on his international career after more than a decade.
The 33-year old opener announced that he was retiring from England duty after this week’s fifth Test against India, saying there was ‘nothing left in the tank’.
Cook said he informed his team-mates about his retirement plans after their 60-run victory over India in the fourth Test at Southampton but had told captain Joe Root before the match and head coach Trevor Bayliss while it was going on, but the rest of the squad found out in an emotional speech afterwards.
“I told Rooty before the game and then told Trevor during the game,” Cook told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the final Test at The Oval. “I gulped down a couple of beers in and I needed to be, otherwise I’d have cried more than I actually did. There was a little bit of silence, then Mo [Moeen Ali] said something, everybody laughed and it was forgotten about.”
Cook has endured a poor run of form with the bat in nine Tests this year in which he has averaged 18.62 runs compared with a career average of 44.88.
Asked if he had considered requesting a sabbatical to reassess his game, Cook said: “It did cross my mind briefly, as the decision became clear in my mind.
“But if you are looking over the last two or three years, I haven’t played a huge amounts of games, and I’ve never felt that getting on another plane has been the struggle.
“It’s hard to put it into words, but over the last six months there have been signs in my mind that this [retirement] was going to happen. I always had been mentally tough and had that edge to everything I’ve done and that edge had kind of gone.”