England opener Alastair Cook has revealed that he cried while breaking the news of his retirement to teammates. Cook, 33, is England’s all-time leading run-scorer and the sixth-highest run-scorer in Test history. He will hang his boots after the fifth and final Test between India and England which begins on Friday.
Reflecting on the moment when he spoke in the dressing room, the former England skipper said, “I was a couple of beers in, otherwise I would have cried more than I actually did. At the end of the game I said, ‘It might be good news, it might be sad for some, it might be happy for others, but it’s time and I have done my bit. I will play one more game. There was a little bit of silence, then Mo [Ali] said something, everybody laughed and it was forgotten about,” said Cook.
“Over the last six months there have been signs in my mind this was going to happen. I had always been mentally tough and had that edge to everything I’ve done – and that edge had kind of gone,” he added.
Cook has featured in 160 Test matches, scoring 12,254 runs. He made his Test debut in Nagpur in 2006 at the age of 21, and scored a century in the second innings.
Recalling his journey, Cook said, “I can look back and say I became the best player I could have become and that means a lot to me. I was never the most talented cricketer, but I definitely got everything out of my ability.”
Asked about the decision to call time on his long career, Cook replied, “It’s hard to put into words but there have been signs in my mind over the last six months. I told Joe Root before the game (in Southampton) and then Trevor Bayliss during the game. In this day and age it’s very difficult to keep anything quiet. If it were 2-2 I’d have kept my mouth shut.”