Strauss retires from professional cricket, Cook takes over as England captain

England captain Andrew Strauss, who oversaw back-to-back Ashes wins over Australia and took England to the top of the test rankings, announced his retirement from professional cricket on Wednesday, says a report in Indian Express, adding that Strauss, who had been in charge since 2009, will be replaced by one-day skipper Alastair Cook - Strauss had taken over after Indian-origin skipper Nasser Husain had chivalrously retired.

“After much thought over the last few weeks, I have decided to step down as England test captain and announce my retirement from all forms of cricket, the 35-year-old told a news conference. It has clearly been a tough decision to make, but I believe that it is both in the best interests of the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage,” said Strauss.

Strauss's decision was the climax of a difficult few weeks for the batsman during which England lost their number one Test ranking to South Africa following a 2-0 series defeat to the Proteas.

Meanwhile The Times Of India reports that Andrew Strauss, who captained England for 50 Tests, will not be leading the Englishmen on their tour of India in November and December, adding that the left-handed batsman announced his retirement from professional cricket on Wednesday, handing the baton to fellow opener Alastair Cook.

Strauss disclosed it was a tough decision, but that in the end it was his poor form with the bat that persuaded him. "For a captain to perform his role properly," said Strauss at a packed press conference at Lord's. “It is important you are firstly not a passenger in the side, but also that people are not speculating as to if you should be in the side. I know with my motivation and energy levels I was not going to improve batting-wise. I'd run my race." He continued: "I would very much like to go out on my own terms, with my head held high."

According to a report in The Hindu, Strauss was adamant that the controversy did not have any impact on his decision to quit. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I first spoke to (England coach) Andy (Flower) about it before the Pietersen incident reared its head. It hasn’t been a consideration at all,” said Strauss, who captained England in 50 Tests, winning 24.

England lost the series 2-0 and with it its No. 1 ranking to the South Africans. The final Test was Strauss’s 100th, but the left-hander, who made 21 Test centuries during his career, did not enjoy a successful series, averaging only 17.83 runs with a highest of 37.

By Indian Sports News Network