It was incredibly tough to quit captaincy, admits Cook

It was incredibly tough to quit captaincy, admits Cook

It was incredibly tough to quit captaincy, admits Cook

"That's what he brings to the England team and I hope he continues that".

European Central Bank chairman Colin Graves also paid tribute to the left-handed opening batsman.

"You don't always get the chance to do much captaincy at county level, and I'm confident he'd do a really good job".

"Coming back from India I didn't think I could do it and it's a job you can't operate at 95 per cent".

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"He felt this was the right time for new energy for some new thinking and some new ideas and someone to grab it with both hands. I felt a little bit let down by the European Central Bank in that one period where they let me out to dry a little bit".

But it's also the start of a new era, one widely expected to have Cook's vice-captain and England's vice-captain right at the very top.

The Essex batsman, who led the national side in a record 59 Tests - which included Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 - said he had chose to leave the post after reflecting on England's recent 4-0 Test series defeat in India.

But in between those Ashes successes came a chastening 5-0 series whitewash in Australia in 2013/14 and the fall-out from the effective sacking of star batsman Kevin Pietersen that followed.

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By the time England touched down on home soil after securing a 1-1 series draw in the Caribbean, Cook must have felt like Henry VIII.

You'll struggle to find a more committed global captain than Richardson-Walsh, who captained Great Britain for 13 years as well as leading England.

And that's the thing with Cook - as an opening batsman, a captain and a person, he never knows when he's beaten. He is one of five England captains to score three hundreds in a single series, and the second after Graham Gooch, against India in 1990, to do so in fewer than five Tests.

"I've been there myself; you either know if you have got it in you to carry on, or, deep down, if it's time to step aside".

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The year began with England beating South Africa, who were then the No1-ranked side in the world. The 2015 summer was Cook's finest in terms of captaincy, becoming clearly invigorated, less rigid, more aggressive, helped by Bayliss' appointment and a more open approach to taking on advice. Ultimately you have to make the decision out there yourself, but use as much as you can. He will likely end up close to, or even surpass, Sachin Tendulkar's Test record of 15,921 runs and without the added burden of captaincy, one that has looked to be weighing heavily on his game in the past year, it is to be hoped he can recapture his best form.

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