LONDON: Alastair Cook has left no room for any U-turn after insisting his Test retirement is final, reported Sky Sports.
Cook, who announced on Monday that this week’s fifth Test against India at The Oval – live on Sky Sports – will be the last of his record-breaking 161-match career, admits it is a tough call to say ‘never again’.
Nonetheless, when pushed on the subject, England’s all-time record runscorer spelled out that he will never play Test cricket again after bowing out against India.
Instead, he will play on for his lifelong club Essex – having signed a new three-year contract – an arrangement he believes may be a huge help when the inevitable “mourning” for his Test career kicks in.
At the suggestion he may be tempted, perhaps, for example, this time next year, to return on the back of a fruitful domestic season – especially if England happen to be struggling – the 33-year-old opener said: “That is a very tough question to answer, but no. “I’m retiring, and that’s it. It is final.
“All those glorious things are just hypothetical. I have done my bit.”
Cook admits he was emotional when he broke it to his team-mates last weekend that he was about to retire.
He was less so in his news conference and does not expect to be afflicted either when he walks out to bat in his last match.
“I don’t think so,” he added. “You just don’t know do you what reaction you’ll get from the crowd, but I’ll just be focused on getting some runs.
“It’ll be slightly strange but I’ll just try to enjoy the week.
“We’ve still got a game to win for England – so I want to approach it the same way as other games, but obviously knowing it will be my last.”