London: Andrew Strauss has retired from all forms of competitive cricket following England’s 2-0 loss against South Africa, which led to the team losing the No. 1 Test ranking. Strauss made the announcement at Lord’s on Wednesday, where it was announced that Alastair Cook would take over the leadership of the team.
"After much thought over the last few weeks, I have decided to step down as England Test captain and announce my retirement from all forms of cricket," said Strauss. "It has clearly been a tough decision to make, but I believe that it is both in the best interests of the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage."
Following the loss to South Africa, in which his highest score was 37, Strauss had said he wanted time to ponder his career and talk with England's team director Andy Flower. Strauss struggled against South Africa’s battery of quick men, managing just 107 runs in six innings, and had to contend with the situation surrounding Kevin Pietersen and his omission from the final Test at Lord’s.
Alastair Cook will lead England in Tests following the veteran opener's shock announcement at Lord's.
This brought to a close a 100-Test career in which Strauss, 35, scored 7037 runs at 40.91, inclusive of 21 Test centuries – one shy of the all-time England record. In a 15-year first-class career which started at Durham MCC University in 1998, Strauss scored 17046 runs. He played all his county cricket for his home side, Middlesex.
"No one can play international cricket for any length of time without having an incredibly strong support network around them, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for going through it all alongside me over the course of my England career," said Strauss at the ECB office at Lord's.
"I am extremely proud of everything I have achieved as a cricketer, and I have found myself very fortunate to play in an era when some of English cricket's greatest moments have occurred. I have loved every minute of it. All that remains is for me to wish Andy, Alastair and the rest of the team the very best for the coming months. I will be an interested spectator."
Strauss took over the England captaincy at the age of 31 in February 2009 after the Pietersen-Peter Moores saga and led England in 50 Tests, including 24 wins, 11 losses and 15 draws. He oversaw two Ashes victories, home and away, as well as Test series wins over India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies (twice) and Bangladesh as well as a series draw in South Africa.