England star batsman Alastair Cook to retire after India Test series

England batsman Alastair Cook will retire from international cricket after this week's Test against India, saying today there is "nothing left in the tank" after 12 record-breaking years in the team.

An elegant and gritty left-handed opener, Cook is leaving the international game holding a slew of national records in tests: most runs (12,254), most appearances (160), most centuries (32) and most tests at captain (59).

He played in 158 straight tests — a world record — and captained England from 2012-17, during which the team won back-to-back home Ashes series and a first series victory in India in 27 years.

"The thought of not sharing the dressing room again with some of my teammates was the hardest part of my decision," the 33-year-old Cook said, "but I know the timing is right."

Cook has endured a lean summer at the top of the order for England, averaging only 15.57 in seven innings against India.

But he stands sixth in the all-time list of leading test run-scorers, just above West Indies great Brian Lara, and needs 147 at The Oval to move past Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara in fifth place.

"He's probably not the most naturally gifted cricketer," former England captain Alec Stewart said, "there will be others with far more natural talent that haven't got the mental strength.

"The combination of what Cook has, both talent and mental strength, has meant he's played for a very long time and has broken every single record going."

Cook, who will play next summer for English county Essex, made his test debut in March 2006 as a late replacement for Michael Vaughan and made an unbeaten 104 in the second innings. He missed the third test of that series because of illness but hasn't missed one since.

He will be remembered, among other things, for the graceful way he often tucked the ball off his hips for a single.

He had a rare ability to bat for long periods — he has five double-centuries in Tests — without losing focus and concentration whatever the conditions. And he almost always pulled out a big score when it was most needed, for the team and also for himself to get over dips in form.

Cook surpassed his own mentor, Graham Gooch, when he exceeded 8,900 Test runs three years ago and that meant so much. As a 7-year-old, Cook lined up to get Gooch's autograph outside Essex's ground and they went on to become close friends.

"Graham was my sounding board, especially in the early years of my career, spending hour after hour throwing balls at me with his dog stick," Cook said. "He made me realize you always need to keep improving, whatever you are trying to achieve."

England now faces the tough task of finding a replacement at the top of the batting order, with Cook having had 12 opening partners since Andrew Strauss' retirement in 2012.

"Alastair's selfless dedication to the England cause and his desire to succeed are an object lesson to any professional cricketer," ECB chairman Colin Graves said. "He fully deserves to be remembered as one of England's greatest ever cricketers."

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30:  England batsman Alastair Cook picks up some runs during day one of the fourth Test match between England and India at The Ageas Bowl on August 30, 2018 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
England batsman Alastair Cook picks up some runs during day one of the fourth Test match between England and India at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Source: Getty


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Spinners galore as White Ferns name side for T20 series against Australia

New Zealand will take a spin-heavy bowling attack into their three-match women's Twenty20 series against Australia.

Five players are proven international slow bowlers and should get plenty of overs during the series starting at North Sydney Oval on September 29.

Coach Haidee Tiffen has based selection on her belief slow bowling will be important at the women's World T20 in the West Indies in November.

One of the spin group is new skipper Amy Satterthwaite.

The allrounder takes over from Suzie Bates, who surprisingly relinquished the captaincy last week.

Bates is the most potent batting force in the New Zealand team and is ranked second in the world in the shortest format, just ahead of Australian pair Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney.

WHITE FERNS:
Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite (capt), Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin.

New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr. International womens cricket, White Ferns v Australia, Blake Park, Tauranga, New Zealand. Sunday, 5 March, 2017. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand bowler Amelia Kerr. Source: Photosport


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'You can always capitalise at the end' - Colin Munro reflects on record-breaking CPL season

Colin Munro has revealed the mindset he's maintained in a record-breaking campaign for the Trinbago Knight Riders which he capped off with a man-of-the-match performance today.

Along with winning the final against the Guyana Amazon Warriors today, the left-hander was also named in the tournament team and became the first batsman in tournament history to break the 500 run mark in a single CPL season.

Munro finished with 567 runs from 13 innings at an average of 51.54 while generating a strike rate of 140.

He finished 110 runs clear of the second best run producer - fellow Black Cap Glenn Phillips - by 110 runs.

The 31-year-old said after the match he's had a constant approach to the tournament which helped him generate the record numbers.

"On these surfaces you can't just go from ball one as I've done in the past.

"I just tried to get myself under way before I took too many risks, get myself set for 20-30 balls and you can always capitalise at the end."

Munro finished the CPL in Hollywood fashion, knocking the game-winning runs for Trinbago to backward point before getting swamped by his teammates.

He even took a moment to stand and appreciate the standing ovation from fans at Brian Lara Stadium who attended the final.

"There's a few more supporters out here for me than there is back home I reckon," he said.

Munro was selected in Black Caps' T20 and ODI squads to face Pakistan in the United Atab Emirates in November before a full summer at home.


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Watch: Euphoric Colin Munro sprints to swarming teammates after blistering knock wins CPL title

New Zealand combo Colin Munro and Brendon McCullum have played starring roles in helping the Trinbago Knight Riders win their third CPL title in six years this afternoon.

Both Munro and McCullum starred with the bat at Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago, much to the dismay of fellow Kiwi Luke Ronchi who also had a strong showing for Guyana Amazon Warriors.

After Trinbago won the toss and elected to field, Guyana scored a total of 147 runs despite Ronchi's opening score of 44 off 35 deliveries.

But his efforts were countered by McCullum who opened the batting for the Knight Riders with 39 runs off 24 balls before Munro finished the job with a stellar 68  runs off 39 balls.

Munro drove a four to deep point to win the match with eight wickets and 15 balls to spare.

It caps a stellar campaign for the 31-year-old leftie who finishes as the top run-scorer in the competition with 567 runs.


'It's never easy to let go of something that I have really loved' - Suzie Bates steps down as White Ferns captain

White Ferns skipper Suzie Bates is putting her team first, handing over the reins as captain to teammate Amy Satterthwaite as her side prepares for the women's World Twenty 20 in November.

The 31-year-old made the announcement in Lincoln this afternoon at a press conference at New Zealand Cricket's high performance centre.

Satterthwaite will take over as captain for the New Zealand women's T20 series against Australia on September 29 in Sydney.

Bates said it was tough telling her teammates before the press conference.

Suzie Bates, Captain of New Zealand bats during Women's ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 Source: Getty

"It was difficult telling the team before, it's never easy to let go of something that I have really loved," said Bates, who was in charge for six years.

"It has been a long stint and probably the last 12 months I have struggled with dealing with the captaincy and playing.

"And perhaps the performances as a group haven't gone as well as I would have liked."

Bates believes not having the responsibility as captain will help her focus more on her own game.

"Now that the decision has been made, it makes sense for my own game to be able to concentrate on that at the end of my career," she said.

"And put as much into performing as well as I can without the captaincy."

Bates has played 115 one day internationals and 101 T20 internationals, debuting for New Zealand in 2006.

She has also scored 7000 runs for New Zealand.

The veteran cricketer told media today, "I've struggled with the captaincy and playing". Source: 1 NEWS


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