Strauss takes a walk

Andrew Strauss (left) and Alastair Cook at today’s media announcement.

England captain Andrew Strauss sent shockwaves through English cricket today when he retired from all forms of the game.

Strauss skippered England in 50 of his 100 Tests and is handing over to opening batsman Alastair Cook.

During his time in charge, England emerged from the chaos of Kevin Pietersen’s resignation as captain to become the world’s top Test team.But the road to the top was anything but easy for Strauss. His reign came at a turbulent time for English cricket as controversy on and off the pitch dogged his spell as captain.

Strauss, 35, said: “For me the driver to it all quite frankly was my form with the bat. In truth, I haven’t batted well enough for a long time now. I think I have run my race.”

He denied his decision to quit was influenced by the furore over kevin Pietersen’s axing from the team.

Strauss scored 7,037 Test runs at an average of 40.91, leaving him ninth in England’s all-time run-scorers list.

Cook, 27, will take charge of his country for the first time in the four-Test series against India in November.

Cook said: “I’m very excited by this new challenge. It is a huge honour to be appointed Test captain and I am very much looking forward to captaining the side in India this winter and beyond.”

Strauss was England’s third-most experienced captain and the second-most successful behind Michael Vaughan, with a record of 24 wins from his 50 matches at the helm. He also led the side to home and away Ashes triumphs during a run of victories that saw them crowned as the world’s number one team for the first time since the rankings were introduced.

Strauss added: “I am extremely proud of everything I have achieved as a cricketer and I have found myself very fortunate to play in an era when some of English cricket’s greatest moments have occurred. I have loved every minute of it.

“It hasn’t been something that occurred overnight. It has built over a few months. I would like to go out on my own terms with my head held high and I think this is the right time.”

The retirement of Strauss will be overshadowed to an extent by the unsavoury controversy involving star batsman Pietersen.

Strauss was said to be the subject of “provocative” text

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