England test captain Andrew Strauss retires from cricket with immediate effect
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (AUGUST 29, 2012) (ITN) -England captain Andrew Strauss, who oversaw back-to-back Ashes wins over Australia and took the team to the top of the test rankings, announced his retirement from professional cricket on Wednesday (August 29).
Strauss, appointed in 2009, will be replaced by one-day skipper Alastair Cook.
"It has clearly been a tough decision to make but I believe it is both in the best interests of both the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage," the 35-year-old opener told a news conference at Lord's.
His decision was the climax of a difficult few weeks during which England batsman Kevin Pietersen was dropped for the third and final test against South Africa after sending what the player conceded were 'provocative' text messages about his team mates and management to opposition players.
Strauss was adamant the controversy had not had an impact on his decision to quit.
"I was pretty sure I was going to make this decision before the Kevin Pietersen situation arose. What happened I didn't feel undermined me in the eyes of the team in any way. It was obviously a difficult situation to deal with but not in terms of making me more or less keen to lead the side forward," said Strauss, who captained England for 50 tests, winning 24.
"It's one of these decision that you just know in your heart how you're feeling about things when the time is up and I knew that probably before the South Africa series started to be honest with you and certainly by the end of the series I was very clear in my mind that it was the time."
England lost the series 2-0 and with it their number one ranking to the South Africans. The final test was Strauss's 100th but the left-hander, who made 21 test centuries during his career, did not enjoy a successful series, averaging only 17.83 runs against the Proteas, with a highest score of 37.
During his time in charge, Strauss led England to Ashes wins in 2009 and 2010/11 as well as the top of the test rankings following last year's 4-0 series whitewash at home to India.
But since then England have lost six tests, including three in a row to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates this year, won three and drawn two.
South-African born Strauss, who also played county cricket for Middlesex, made his England debut against New Zealand in 2004, scoring 112 but said the Ashes win in Australia had been the highlight of his career