Strauss quits all cricket


The ECB have announced that England and Middlesex batsman Andrew Strauss has retired from all professional forms of the game.

The ECB have announced that England and Middlesex batsman Andrew Strauss has retired from all professional forms of the game.

It was expected that he would step down as skipper, following a turbulent few months in the role, but his retirement from all cricket comes as a surprise. He will be replaced as Test skipper by Alastair Cook, who is already the ODI leader.

Strauss oversaw England's 2-0 loss to South Africa in the recent Test series, and had to deal with the Kevin Pietersen drama off the field, leading him to take a break overseas with his family in the past week.

A clear-eyed and eloquent Strauss said on Wednesday: "After much thought over the last few weeks, I have decided to step down as England Test captain and announce my retirement from all forms of cricket.

"It has clearly been a tough decision to make, but I believe that it is both in the best interests of the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage.

"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. All that remains is for me to wish Andy [Flower], Alastair [Cook] and the rest of the team the very best for the coming months. I will be an interested spectator."

He is one of England's most distinguished players, only one of five men to play over 100 Tests and 100 ODIs for the country, and has scored over 7000 runs in Tests.

When asked what motivated him to retire, Strauss said his decision had been building over the past year and was motivated by his batting form.

He said: "It was a very tough decision to make. The drive for me was my form with the bat and in truth I have not batted well for a long period of time now. It is important for a captain to not be a passenger and that people are not speculationg whether you should be in the side.

"I know with my energy levels and motivation I was not going to improve batting wise. It is not something that occurred overnight it was a gradual feeling that has grown over the last few months and became more apparent in the last few weeks. I would like to go out on my own terms."

He made sure to emphasise that the Pietersen texting saga had little if nothing to do with it, adding: "I was pretty sure I was going to make this decision before the Pietersen situation arose.

"What happened I did not feel undermined my position in anyway. It was a situation that was difficult to deal with but not in terms of making me less keen to lead the side forward. I knew before the South African series and certainly by the end I knew it was my time."

Cook, smiling from ear to ear, said of his new role: "It has been a strange 24 hours for me personally but I am incredibly proud to be sitting here as captain of England. I have huge boots to fill.

"Strauss has done an incredible job. I am really excited about the challenge ahead. We have a lot of cricket to play and hopefully I can do a good job. You have to throw yourself into it and meet the challenge head on. Hopefully I can do that."