Cricket

Cook removed Sharma for his only Test wicket.

Remembering when Alastair Cook claimed a Test wicket vs India in 2014

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Alastair Cook, one of English cricket's all-time greats, has announced his retirement from the international game.

And with his announcement, England will lose its highest run scorer in Test cricket and one of its finest ever batsmen.

Cook, 33, has scored 12,254 runs and made 32 centuries in 160 Tests - all of which are records in an England cap.

The left-handed batsman is also sixth on the all-time list of Test run-scorers and has made a record 11,627 runs as an opener, averaging 44 and with a highest score of 294.

Other career highlights included a match-saving 235* in the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane in 2010, which gave his team the platform to win Down Under for the first time in 24 years.

After taking over the captaincy in 2012, Cook then led England to their first victory in India for 27 years.

He won two Ashes series as captain - at home in 2013 and 2015 - but was whitewashed 5-0 Down Under in 2013-14.

But, despite an illustrious career, he has struggled for form in recent years, averaging just 18 this year, and hasn't scored a half-century in the current series against India.

As a result, he will call it a day after the fifth and final Test at the Oval, with England currently holding an unassailable 3-1 lead after victory at Southampton on Sunday.

What a career it has been for Alastair Cook

"There is nothing left in the tank," said Cook, who captained his country in a record 59 Tests before handing the reigns over to Joe Root.

He added: "I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game."

In a statement, Cook said his decision to retire from international cricket had come after "much thought and deliberation over the last few months".

"The thought of not sharing the dressing room, again, with some of my team-mates was the hardest part of my decision, but I know the timing is right.

One hell of an innings for Cook

"So I know it is the right time to give the next generation of young cricketers their turn to entertain us and feel the immense pride that comes with representing your country."

Cook said he will continue playing county cricket and "can't wait to get fully involved" with Essex in 2019 after signing a three-year contract.

Though he will be remembered as one of the best batsmen of his generation, not many will remember that he has actually had a bowl, and even took a wicket, in Test cricket as well.

Back in July 2014, India were batting their way to a comfortable draw in the opening match of the series at Trent Bridge.

Having exchanged scores of over 400 in their first innings, England and India were heading for an inevitable draw, with the tourists again comfortable in their second innings.

As the series opener had become a bit of a dead rubber, the England captain decided to make light of the situation and brought himself on to bowl.

And even though he was bowling against tailender Ishant Sharma, no-one could see Cook pulling off the impossible and taking his first Test wicket.

But incredibly, Cook removed Sharma, strangling the Indian paceman down the legside, with Matt Prior taking the catch.

Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
Alastair Cook

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