Cook thought about quitting at Trent Bridge


England captain Alastair Cook has revealed that he was still considering stepping down as skipper as recently as the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, even after winning the series.

Cook has endured a challenging year, both with the bat and from the media, with English cricket going through some very tough times. He was also dropped as ODI skipper, and dropped from the World Cup squad.

Despite leading the side to an Ashes victory with a game to spare, he was still thinking about stepping down after The Oval. But he's decided to keep going, as long as coach Trevor Bayliss wants him to take the side to the UAE to face Pakistan.

Cook told The Daily Mail of his very recent decision to stay on: "I pretty much decided last Sunday.

"I woke up and immediately started thinking about trying to win the Ashes 4-1 and then about what we will have to do to win against Pakistan.

"It came quickly to me to start planning ahead and that told me that I probably wanted to carry on a bit longer.

"I haven't spoken to (ECB director) Andrew Strauss yet and I don't want to look too far ahead, the one-day stuff has taught me that.

"But as long as they still want me and as long as Trevor Bayliss doesn't have other ideas, I'll carry on."

Cook spoke of the trying time he'd endured, with the media very critical of his role in letting Kevin Pietersen be jettisoned from the side, a furore that hasn't completely died down, nearly 18 months later.

The skipper continued: "There have been some really dark moments in the last year or so.

"There was the KP affair and that dragged English cricket through some bad periods.

"I bore the brunt of that negativity and it took it out of me and my family. To come through that means a lot.

"This is not a 'poor me' thing but I felt in the really low moments that I was getting blamed for absolutely everything that had gone wrong.

"There were times when I found it very hard to deal with and was very close to giving it all up."