Cook hints he’s near­ing end as Eng­land cap­tain

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ALAS­TAIR COOK (car­i­ca­ture) has in­di­cated the up­com­ing Test se­ries against In­dia could be his last as Eng­land cap­tain.

But the 31-year-old Es­sex left-han­der said that what­ever his fu­ture as skip­per, he would like to con­tinue his Test ca­reer purely as an open­ing bats­man.

Cook is set to break Michael Ather­ton’s record of 54 Tests as Eng­land cap­tain when he leads the tourists in the first of five­match se­ries against In­dia in Ra­jkot to­day.

“Deep down I don’t know how much longer I am go­ing to carry on,” he said in an in­ter­view with this month’s Crick­eter mag­a­zine quoted by The Times news­pa­per.

“It could be two months, it could be a year.”

Cook be­came Eng­land cap­tain in 2012 and promptly led his side to a 2-1 se­ries win in In­dia that year.

In to­tal, Cook has won 24 of his Tests as cap­tain, a tally that in­cludes two home Ashes se­ries tri­umphs.

His tally of 10,688 runs in 135 Tests is the high­est by any Eng­land bats­man and in­cludes a cen­tury on de­but, against In­dia in Nagpur in 2006.

That was the first of 29 Test hun­dreds, an­other Eng­land record, and Cook would like to re­turn to the ranks be­fore he re­tires from in­ter­na­tional cricket.

“I do look for­ward to the day when hope­fully I can play a Test match as just a bat­ter, there’s no doubt about that,” said Cook.

“If that hap­pens I am go­ing to re­ally en­joy stand­ing at first slip and be­ing the bloke who makes sug­ges­tions to who­ever’s in charge and not be­ing the bloke who has to make the final de­ci­sion.

“There have been some tough mo­ments and amaz­ing mo­ments and you can en­joy that suc­cess that lit­tle bit more be­cause of what you go through as Eng­land cap­tain.”

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Michael Vaughan told BBC ra­dio on Mon­day that Cook could re­lin­quish the lead­er­ship of the team ei­ther fol­low­ing the In­dia se­ries of af­ter the 2017/18 Ashes tour of Australia. “These next six or seven weeks are not cru­cial for Cook, he is break­ing records and he has four or five years left as a bats­man, if his mind wants to play that long,” said Vaughan. “He’d be a real good sound­ing board and be able to see when the new cap­tain is un­der stress. He would be the per­fect foil.” – AFP

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