1. ITV Report

Alastair Cook quits as England cricket captain

Alastair Cook has stepped down. Credit: PA

Alastair Cook has stepped down as the England cricket captain, it has been confirmed.

The future of the Essex batsman was in doubt over the winter, as he was left to decide if he wanted to carry on in the role, after 59 Tests leading his country.

England lost 4-0 in India and could only draw their series in Bangladesh, leaving his position under threat.

Cook will continue to be available for Test match cricket where he is still a key component at the top of the order.

Cook had a tough winter. Credit: PA

It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years.

Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team.

I’ve had time to reflect after the India series and this weekend I spoke to Colin Graves, the Chairman, to explain and offer my resignation.

It’s a sad day personally in many ways but I want to thank everyone I’ve captained, all the coaches and support staff and, of course, the England supporters and the Barmy Army who follow us home and away and have given us unwavering support.

Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can.

– Alastair Cook
Joe Root is favourite to take on the role of captain. Credit: PA

A new captain will be named before the tour of the West Indies at the end of February. Many expect Yorkshire batsman Joe Root will take the reins.

Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss said: “We now move on with the process of appointing the right successor. There are a number of established players who are playing formal or informal leadership roles and whilst we've rightly not spoken to anyone in relation to the Test captaincy so far, we can now talk fully and openly within the team."