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Former England skipper Sir Ian Botham believes that Alastair Cook could well pass Sachin Tendulkar as the all-time leading Test run scorer after giving up the captaincy.

The ECB confirmed Cook’s rumoured resignation from the captaincy but confirmed that the left-handed opening bat would continue playing.

Botham wrote in the Mirror: “Cooky is the one player who has any realistic chance of challenging Sachin Tendulkar’s run-scoring feats and I wouldn’t put it past him to set a global standard for others to chase.

“He is still a young man.

“He has made his last decision as England captain and it may yet prove to be one of his best.

“He will get a new lease of life as a batsman and be able to churn out more runs than any England player ever thought possible.”

If Cook maintains his current runscoring rate he should be able to overhaul Tnedulkar who scored 15921 in 200 Test matches.

Cook has scored 11057 runs in 140 Tests and is only 32 years old, it is worth remembering Sachin called time on his career at the age of 40 and that the former England skipper has quit the shorter formats of the game.

Tributes for Cook’s efforts as skipper have flooded social media.