On This Day in 2017: Sir Alastair Cook resigns as England Test captain

Sir Alastair Cook stood down from his role as England Test captain on this day in 2017.

Cook’s 59 Tests in charge made him the nation’s longest-serving skipper, until he was overtaken by his successor Joe Root, with his spell at the helm beginning in 2013.

Throughout that period Cook won eight of his 17 series in charge, including a 2-1 win in India in 2012 – their first series victory there since 1985 – as well as a win in South Africa in 2015-16.

Cook also led the team to two home triumphs in the Ashes, in 2013 and 2015, with a Test record that totalled 24 wins and 22 defeats.

Cricket – Investec Test Series – Fifth Test – England v India – Day Three – The Kia Oval
Alastair Cook won eight of his 17 series in charge (Nigel French/PA)

The opener cited a loss of energy as the reasoning behind his resignation, concluding that the team would benefit from new leadership and deciding to devote his full focus to his batting.

Cook, whose last series as captain was a 4-0 defeat to India, said: “It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years.

“Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team. We’ve kind of stagnated if we are being brutally honest.

England v India – Fifth Test – Day Four – The Kia Oval
Alastair Cook remained part of the England set-up until he retired from international duty in 2018 (Adam Davy/PA)

“There is a lot of work to be done and I felt I just didn’t have that energy to do it. That’s part and the parcel of being captain, you are responsible.”

Cook remained part of the squad under new captain Root until 2018, when he announced his retirement from international cricket after 12 years, signing off with a century against India in his final innings in his 161st Test.

Cook, who was the recipient of a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2019, retired from cricket last October.

Latest