Andrew Strauss has retired as captain of the England cricket team and from all forms of cricket, he announced today.
He led England to victory in the Ashes twice and is one of England's longest-serving and most successful captains.
He is succeeded by Alastair Cook, who is already the one-day captain.
During a hastily-convened press conference at Lord's, Strauss told reporters:
– Andrew Strauss
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...
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.
Strauss said the controversy surrounding South African-born batsman Kevin Pietersen "hasn't been a consideration" in making his decision.
Pietersen was left out of the squad for England's third test against South Africa earlier this month following accusations that he sent provocative text messages to his "close friends" in the opposing team.
Alastair Cook and said he has "huge boots to fill" andcongratulated Strauss on a "superb career".
He said that "everyone in the dressing room will be sad to see him go" but added that it was important to "move on quickly" because there is a busy season ahead.
Strauss scored a century during his Test debut against New Zealand in 2004.
He went on to gather 100 Test caps, captaining the side for 50 of those. He also made 124 appearances in one-day internationals and four in Twenty20 internationals.
His international career spanned more than a decade, during which time the left-handed batsman scored 21 Test centuries.
David Collier, the head of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), described Strauss as:
– David Collier, chief executive, ecb
A highly successful captain and opening batsman for Middlesex and England, who will be remembered for leading the side to two Ashes victories and to the top of the Test rankings.
He added: "His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come and we now need to continue to build on the progress we have made under his leadership."