Andrew Strauss has announced his resignation from the England captaincy retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
The news was announced at Lords on Wednesday afternoon during a press conference that was also attended by Alistair Cook – the man who will replace Strauss at the helm of the Test side.
Strauss’ decision comes just over a week after England were beaten 2-0 in their Test series with South Africa, a series in which he only scored 107 runs at 17.83 in three Test matches.
Strauss addressed the press with these words: “For me the driver to it all quite frankly was my form with the bat. In truth, I haven’t battled well enough for a long time now. I think I have run my race.”
As always, Strauss was highly dignified in his exit, putting the needs of the team first, as he has done his whole career.
He added: “I am extremely proud of everything I have achieved as a cricketer and I have found myself very fortunate to play in an era when some of English cricket’s greatest moments have occurred. I have loved every minute of it.”
With his retirement, Strauss ends a highly successful England career as both captain and batsman. Since his Test debut in 2004, he has gone on to play 100 Test matches, scoring 7037 runs at 40.91 including 21 centuries.
But it was perhaps his captaincy that will be most missed in the England dressing room. He took over the reins from Kevin Pietersen in early 2009, following turmoil in the dressing room after a public falling out between both Pietersen and then coach Peter Moores. In all he went on to captain his side in 50 matches winning 24 of those, whilst leading England to number one in the ICC Test rankings at the same time.
With retirement it ends a 15-year career in the game for the 35-year-old Strauss. He started out playing for both Durham University and Middlesex in 1997 before persistent run-scoring forced the selectors to pick him for an ODI series in Sri Lanka, in late 2003.
It wasn’t long before he soon forced his way into the Test side too. When making his debut in May 2004 at his home ground Lords, he scored 112 and 83. Since then, despite a brief spell out of the side in 2007, he has been an almost ever presence in one of English cricket’s most successful times in their history.
His most memorable moment will no doubt be leading his side to victory in Australia during the 2010/11 Ashes, where he became the first Englishman to win the urn on foreign soil since Mike Gatting in 1987.
The retirement and resignation of Strauss begins together a new dawn for English cricket. After losing their number one Test status to South Africa just nine days ago, they will hope Cook has what it takes to lead the side forward. His first assignment starts in India during the winter.
Cook has had enough experience of top level captaincy before. He took charge of the Test side in Bangladesh in 2010 when Strauss was being rested and went on to win the two-Test series 2-0, he has also been in charge of the ODI team since Strauss gave away the captaincy after the 2011 World Cup in India. Since the turn of the year, Cook has led England to eight victories out of nine in the shorter form of the game.
Cook was quick to praise his mentor and former captain Strauss, as he himself takes over the most coveted job in English cricket: “Andrew’s contribution to England cricket in recent years is evident to everyone who follows the sport but only those of us who have been lucky enough to share a dressing room with him are fully aware of his immense contribution to our success.”
The always calm and well-spoken Strauss leaves cricket behind only Michael Vaughan as England’s most successful captain of all time, and like Vaughan and Nasser Hussain previously, his captaincy falls victim to Graeme Smith and his touring South Africans.
Watch the whole press conference here.