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  1. ITV Report

Alastair Cook tells his successor: 'Throw yourself into it and enjoy the ride'

Alastair Cook said it was the right time to stand down as England cricket captain after feeling he could no longer give the role his all.

Credit: PA

Cook ended his tenure yesterday after more than four years and a national record 59 Tests in charge of England.

The 32-year-old looked jaded on England's last Test assignment in India, where they were beaten 4-0, including back-to-back innings defeats in the last two matches.

It's a huge honour to be England captain and I'e absolutely loved doing it. you've got to be 100% on it all the time. You've got to be driving the team forward - driving things forward and you can't do it at 95%.

Coming back from India, the way I felt there, I knew I didn't have much more to give.

It's been a tough one and a sad one because I've genuinely loved it. I loved all the good moments, the bad moments and the challenges it's thrown at me. And to give that away is always quite hard.

– Alastair Cook

Winning games of cricket, as a captain, you feel ultimately that bit more responsible because you've made those decisions.

2013 Ashes was great. 2015 probably meant a bit more because it was so unexpected.

And then the 2012 winning in India. And the reception I got in Southampton in 2014 when it was really tough the support I got from the crowd there I'll remember that forever, they convinced me to carry on.

– Alastair Cook

Cook's reign featured successive home Ashes victories, while he can also boast series wins as captain in India and South Africa.

On the flip side, his tactical acumen was often called into question while England suffered a whitewash defeat to Australia Down Under in 2013-14, followed by a shock loss to Sri Lanka at home.

I've had some tough moments but I do think the timing is right now. It's sad but I'm looking forward to the last part of my career really.

I want to be part of the England team - another era - the feeling you get from winning games of cricket for England is incredible.

– Alastair Cook

Joe Root is a strong favourite to replace Cook but director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss yesterday refused to anoint the Yorkshireman as the only contender for the position.

If it is Joe [Root] it's an incredible honour to do. Throw yourself into it and enjoy the ride.

– Alastair Cook