England batsman Alastair Cook has resigned from his role of Test captaincy after captaining the side for 59 Tests.
Cook discussed his stepping down with the chairman of the ECB and his resignation was accepted.
However, he has confirmed that he will not stop playing Tests.
The 32-year old opening batsman is England's most capped Test captain, has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain and is England's most prolific Test batsman with 11,057 runs in 140 Tests to date.
On his decision, Cook said,
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.
The ECB have begun their procedure for choosing the new Test captain, which will most likely be Joe Root.
Director of England cricket Andrew Strauss said,
I want to thank Alastair, on behalf of the ECB and from a personal perspective, for the fantastic contribution that he's made to the England Test team since taking over as Captain in 2012.
He further 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. We expect to be able to make an announcement before the team head to the West Indies on 22nd February.”
England recently lost the Test series against India 4-0 in India and it was expected that Cook will step down from the highly coveted position.
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