Alastair Cook reveals what he won't miss as England icon announces cricket retirement

Alastair Cook England cricket

Alastair Cook has announced his retirement from cricket

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 13/10/2023

- 14:38

Updated: 13/10/2023

- 15:23

The batter has opted to walk away from the sport

Alastair Cook has joked he won't miss putting on his pads and facing the new ball after announcing his retirement from cricket.

The England icon has opted to quit after a stunning 20-year career.

Cook's contract at Essex recently expired and he's not seeking an extension, with the 38-year-old believing it's the right time to pursue a new challenge away from the sport.

"It is not easy to say goodbye. Cricket has been so much more than my job," he said.

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook won't miss putting on his pads and facing the new ball


"It has allowed me to experience places I never dreamed I would go, be a part of teams that have achieved things I would never have thought possible and, most importantly, created deep friendships that will last a lifetime.

"From the eight-year-old boy who first played for Wickham Bishops Under-11s to now, I end with a strange feeling of sadness mixed with pride.

"Above all, I am incredibly happy."

Cook also joked that he wouldn't miss putting on the pads and facing the new ball.

"I won't miss strapping on my pads and facing the new ball, but I will miss being in the Essex changing room," he joked.

"When I ended my international career, I had no idea that I would have five more bonus years playing for Essex.

"I cannot put into words just how much fun we have had during that time."

Cook retired from England duty back in 2018, having skippered the side.

And the veteran, who won three Ashes series during his time playing for his country, is blown away by how much fans have appreciated him.

"Although my England career came to an end in 2018, I remain blown away by the amount of affection I receive from England supporters," he said.

"Wherever I have travelled, you have been there with your enthusiasm, kind words and unshakable belief.

"English cricket really does have the best fans in the world."

He added: "It is the right time for this part of my life to come to an end.

"I have always given absolutely everything I possibly could have to be the best player I could be, but now I want to make way for the new generation to take over.

"I will never underestimate the privilege I have had to play cricket.

"I will always be grateful for what the game has given to me.

"Now, I hope the Bedfordshire Farmers will find space for a has-been 'all-rounder' somewhere in their lower order."

Tributes for Cook, who scored 12,472 Test runs and 33 centuries, have already started to pour in.

James Anderson said: "I feel very fortunate that I got to play a lot with him.

"For him to give back to Essex what he has over the past few years speaks volumes about him.


Alastair Cook cricket

Alastair Cook is bowing out as an England and Essex cricket icon


"He constantly performs, churning out runs. He'll be hugely missed."

And Michael Vaughan added: "I don't know if we'll see a player like him again.

"He's the last of a dying breed of openers.

"He maximised every ounce of his ability to the maximum level.

"He was a great team member and a great ambassador for the game."

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