Alastair Cook has opened up about his decision to resign his England captaincy after more than four years in charge and claimed it is the right time for him to leave.
Cook captained his country to 59 test matches - the most by any Englishman - and won two Ashes series in the process in 2013 and 2015.
Unfortunately for England's record-setting captain, it was an unhappy end as his side were defeated 4-0 by India in their most recent series.
"It's been an incredibly tough decision to make," said Cook, as per Sky Sports. "It's a huge honour to be England captain and I've loved every part of it, even the bad times.
"Leading England has been an honour for me but it is a job you have to commit 100 per cent to.
"There have been certain times throughout my four or five years that I've gone to the well and dug pretty deep and coming back from India, the way I felt then, I didn't think I could do it again and it's a job you can't operate at 95 per cent.
"When I looked in that mirror I felt it was time. It's sad in one sense because I've loved it; I've loved the honour, I've loved the prestige of all of it and leading some great men, but I do think it's the right time for me and the right time for the team that I step down."
Cook's time at the helm has held both positives and negatives. While he managed two Ashes wins as well as series victories in both India and South Africa, his tactics were often questioned as England suffered a whitewash defeat in Australia in 2013-14.
But Cook says he is looking forward to stepping back into the squad just as a senior player, and that he has made the right call both for England and himself.
He added: "I had to be honest with myself, and I look forward to the next part of my career. I look forward to hopefully supporting the new guy as best I can and hopefully scoring some runs as well and being part of England's success."
With Joe Root widely tipped to replace him, Cook has offered some advice to whoever is next to take the reins for England.
"Make sure you don't always do it your way. There are a lot of great people out there who watch a lot of cricket and know probably more than you do or anyone does, so use that advice and be open to it.
"Ultimately you have to make that decision out there but use as much advice as you can because a lot of people want you to do very well, because people love seeing England win games of cricket."News Now - Sport News