Opening batsman Alastair Cook has stepped down as the captain of the England Test team after a record 59 matches in the role.
London: Alastair Cook has resigned as England Test captain after a record 59 matches in the role, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said today.
Cook, England's leading scorer in Tests with 11,057 runs, became captain in August 2012 and led his country to Ashes glory on home soil in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa.
"It's been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years," Cook, 32, said in a statement.
"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."
Cook, who also led England in a record 69 one-day internationals between 2010 and 2014, is the country's most capped Test skipper and has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain. He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2012 and ICC World Test Captain in 2013.
He tendered his resignation to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves on Sunday, but intends to continue playing Test cricket.
"Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can."
The ECB said a "proper process" had started to appoint England's next Test captain. Yorkshire batsman Joe Root is the early favourite to take over with an announcement expected in the next fortnight.