Andrew Strauss: England captain retires from cricket

Andrew Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss has retired from all forms of cricket.

Strauss skippered his country in 50 of his 100 Tests and is handing over to one-day captain Alastair Cook.

Strauss, 35, said: "For me the driver to it all quite frankly was my form with the bat. In truth, I haven't batted well enough for a long time now. I think I have run my race."

He denied his decision to quit was influenced by the furore over Kevin Pietersen's axing from the team.

Strauss scored 7,037 Test runs at an average of 40.91, leaving him ninth in England's all-time run-scorers list.

During his time in charge, England became the world's best Test team for the first time.

Cook, 27, will take charge of his country for the first time in the four-Test series against India in November.

He said: "I'm very excited by this new challenge. It is a huge honour to be appointed Test captain and I am very much looking forward to captaining the side in India this winter and beyond."

Strauss was England's third-most experienced captain and the second-most successful behind Michael Vaughan, with a record of 24 wins from his 50 matches at the helm.

He also led the side to home and away Ashes triumphs during a run of victories that saw them crowned as the world's number one team for the first time since the rankings were introduced.

Strauss added: "I am extremely proud of everything I have achieved as a cricketer and I have found myself very fortunate to play in an era when some of English cricket's greatest moments have occurred. I have loved every minute of it.

"It hasn't been something that occurred overnight. It has built over a few months. I would like to go out on my own terms with my head held high and I think this is the right time."

The retirement of Strauss will be overshadowed to an extent by the unsavoury controversy involving star batsman Pietersen.

Strauss was said to be the subject of "provocative" text messages that Pietersen sent to South African players during England's 3-0 series defeat by the Proteas.

But Strauss was insistent he had made a decision about his future before the news of the texts broke on the eve of his 100th Test match at Lord's.

"I first spoke to Andy Flower about it prior to the Kevin Pietersen incident rearing its head," he said. "It just hasn't been a consideration.

"I first spoke to Andy about this a few weeks ago and said I'm considering it and would talk to him at end of the South Africa series. By the time I spoke to him again, my mind was made up and I think he knew that."

Strauss sent letters to members of the England team explaining his decision to retire and they responded by sending him 100 bottles of wine.

It was a sign of the high regard the dressing room held him in, a view Cook voiced as he paid tribute to his predecessor.

"Obviously I've got huge boots to fill," said Cook. "It feels like I've spent all my England career walking out to bat with him. Unfortunately it might mean I have to take the first ball now."


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