I will not re­turn . . . even for the Ashes

Daily Mail - - International Football - By LAWRENCE BOOTH

ALASTAIR A COOK last night ruled out an­swer­ing an SOS call from Eng­land dur­ing next sum­mer’s A Ashes — and said he faced a pe­riod of ‘mourn­ing’ af­ter an­nounc­ing his re­tire­ment from Test cricket. Cook, who will win his 161st and fi­nal cap against In­dia at The Oval to­mor­row, will then em­bark on three sum­mers on the do­mes­tic cir­cuit with Es­sex. A And he re­it­er­ated that this game re­ally would be his last chance to add to his na­tional record tally of 12,254 Test runs and 32 hun­dreds — even if Eng­land find them­selves 2-2 against Australia in 2019 with a game to go and he has scored a hat­ful of runs in the County Cham­pi­onship. ‘That is a very tough ques­tion to an­swer but, no, I’m re­tir­ing and that’s it,’ he said. ‘It is fi­nal. All those glo­ri­ous things are just hy­po­thet­i­cal. I have done my bit. ‘There is go­ing to be a tran­si­tion, a pe­riod, of course there is. There are go­ing to be times when you have that mourn­ing, but that tran­si­tion has to take place, whether that is to­day or in two years. I think hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to play for Es­sex will help that a lot.’ Cook’s third child is due on Mon­day but he said: ‘It’s very dif­fi­cult to pre­dict the timescale of when the baby will come. We’ll wait and see. We have spo­ken about it (with wife Alice) and if it comes when I’m bat­ting I will meet it later. Ide­ally it will come af­ter the match or even bet­ter when I’ve got a hun­dred!’ He added, smiling: ‘Ide­ally it will come when In­dia are about to bat and I won’t have to field — but I doubt that will hap­pen.’

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