England 5 min read

England Test captain Alastair Cook steps down

After 59 Test matches in charge of the England team, including Ashes victories and series wins in India and South Africa, Alastair Cook has decided to step down from the role.

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England Test captain Alastair Cook steps down

Alastair Cook has stepped down from his role after 59 Tests as England Test captain

Alastair Cook has stepped down from his role after 59 Tests as England Test captain. 

Appointed in August 2012, Cook has led the team through more Test matches than any other England captain. His record includes Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. He also led the one-day side for 69 one-day internationals between 2010 and 2014, another England record. 

Cook discussed his decision with the Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Colin Graves, on Sunday evening and has confirmed his continuing commitment to playing Test cricket to Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, and the selectors. 

Alastair Cook's captaincy in numbers

Alastair Cook's captaincy in numbers

His resignation has been accepted, the Board have been informed and the proper process has started to appoint the next Test captain – the 80th in England’s Test match history. 

The 32-year old opening batsman is England’s most capped Test captain, has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain and is England’s most prolific Test batsman with 11,057 runs in 140 Tests to date.

"Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team."

Alastair Cook

During his five seasons at the helm he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year [2012] and ICC World Test Captain [2013] and his services to the game were recognised with a CBE – collected at Buckingham Palace last Friday – to follow the MBE he was awarded in 2011. 

Confirming his decision, Alastair Cook said: “It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years.

“Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team. 

Alastair Cook captained England to a series win in South Africa

Alastair Cook captained England to a series win in South Africa

“I’ve had time to reflect after the India series and this weekend I spoke to Colin Graves, the Chairman, to explain and offer my resignation.

“It’s a sad day personally in many ways but I want to thank everyone I’ve captained, all the coaches and support staff and, of course, the England supporters and the Barmy Army who follow us home and away and have given us unwavering support. 

“Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can.”

England's Ashes celebrations

Join the players on the Kia Oval pitch after the lifted the famous urn

Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, today paid tribute to Alastair Cook and explained the next steps in appointing a successor, saying:

“I want to thank Alastair, on behalf of the ECB and from a personal perspective, for the fantastic contribution that he’s made to the England Test team since taking over as captain in 2012. 

"His country owes him a great debt of gratitude; he's led the team with determination, conviction and a huge amount of pride over the last five years and his record stands for itself. With more matches leading the team than anyone, including two Ashes wins, he deserves to be seen as one of our country's great captains. 

“Off the field as well as on, he has shown his strengths, developing the team and its culture, managing a fundamental transition and helping us to build for the future. As with all leaders, there have been times where circumstances have tested him but his resilience and temperament have helped him to prevail and to prosper.

"His leadership has brought some huge successes for the England team and even in difficult times he has always shown his character, stayed composed and seen things through."

Colin Graves

“He has always served with the best interests of the team in the front of his mind and stays true to that as he steps down from the role. Alastair will be missed in his capacity as captain but I hope that he has a number of years left to add to his record-breaking feats as an opening batsman and look forward to his continued success.

“We now move on with the process of appointing the right successor. There are a number of established players who are playing formal or informal leadership roles and whilst we've rightly not spoken to anyone in relation to the Test captaincy so far, we can now talk fully and openly within the team. We expect to be able to make an announcement before the team head to the West Indies on 22 February.”

ECB Chairman Colin Graves said: “Alastair called me this weekend to offer his resignation and to explain the reasons behind it. This was clearly a very hard decision and I thoroughly respect the way it’s been made, with the team at the core of his thinking.

Alastair Cook with his CBE

Alastair Cook with his CBE

“His leadership has brought some huge successes for the England team and even in difficult times he has always shown his character, stayed composed and seen things through.

“Over the last two years he has also paved the way for our future and his work will help the transition to the next Test captain and the further development of this team. As he continues to play for England, I know that he’ll be very supportive of his successor and the next generation of players.

“Of course, as a batsman he’s one of the all-time greats. We owe him our gratitude, thank him for his commitment to England and look forward to watching him score plenty more runs for England.”

Alastair Cook celebrates passing 10,000 Test runs

Alastair Cook celebrates passing 10,000 Test runs

Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the ECB, also paid tribute: “Alastair has played a huge role as England Test captain and he is without any doubt a fantastic ambassador for his country and for the game.

“His character, commitment and integrity stand out; he’s been an outstanding captain for us, leading by example as he does at the top of the order. It’s no coincidence that he’s our most capped Test captain and our most prolific batsman ever.

“Through the ups and down that you experience with any long tenure he’s been courageous, consistent and resilient, handling everything with poise and dignity. I feel very fortunate to have worked with him as Test captain, with Alastair giving us stability in the dressing room on and off the pitch.

“We owe him our sincere gratitude and I look forward to his continued success as part of the England Test team.”

Alastair Cook's best moments

He's a true England legend - here are three moments from the archive

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Apps, IP addresses, cookies and tracking tools


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In common with many other website operators, we may use standard technology called 'cookies' on ECB websites. Cookies are small pieces of information that are stored by your browser on your computer's hard drive and they are used to record how you navigate ECB websites on each visit.

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Tracking technology

Occasionally, we may use digital tracking (usually in a cookie) on ECB websites or in emails we send to you.  We use these to ensure you receive appropriate information and do not receive multiple communications about the same thing (such as ticketing offers) from different cricket-related organisations.

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How we will use your information and the legal basis for doing so:

All personal data that we obtain about you and/or any other person whose details you provide will be recorded, used, and protected by us in accordance with current data protection legislation, any applicable terms of use, the Relevant ECB Privacy Notice and this Privacy Policy and any consents or other arrangements agreed with you (or those other persons) or on your / their behalf. 

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A comprehensive explanation is set out in the Relevant ECB Privacy Notice

Disclosing your information

In order to provide our products and services, to act as the national governing body for cricket and to operate our business, we need to share relevant information with certain other organisations.  The Relevant ECB Privacy Notice has specific details. 

We may, occasionally, appoint other organisations to carry out some of the processing activities on our behalf. These may include, for example, technology hosts, printing companies and mailing houses. In these circumstances, we will ensure that personal data is properly protected and that it is only used in accordance with the Relevant ECB Privacy Notice and our Privacy Policy. 

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As the national governing body for cricket, the ECB has relationships with other cricket related organisations such as First Class Cricket Counties, the National Counties Cricket Association, County Cricket Boards, cricket clubs and cricket leagues (each a Cricket Organisation) and some of the goods and services available on or through ECB websites are provided by those Cricket Organisations. Each Cricket Organisation has its own privacy practices and you should check that you are satisfied with them before you provide any personal data to them. 



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The ECB, CRICKET ORGANISATIONS and ECB SPONSORS & PARTNERS would like to contact you and/or any person whose information you provide to us to invite you to enjoy other products and services (where you have agreed to us sending an invitation), to provide newsletters and to tell you and/or them about offers and opportunities that are available and about a range of other initiatives in a number of ways, including by post, text message, email or, for relevant services, push notification, personalised on-screen messages and social media.  

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Details of how to opt-in to or opt-out of receiving newsletters and details of offers are on relevant pages of ECB websites, in relevant forms you complete and/or in the message you receive. 

You and any other person whose information you have provided to us can change your/their mind about whether you/they wish to receive details of offers and opportunities at any time by using any of the methods shown below (see the section ‘How to contact us’ below) or by following the instructions provided with each offer you/they receive. 


We take the security of personal data seriously.  We employ security technology, including firewalls, and Secure Socket Layers to safeguard information and have procedures in place to ensure that our paper and computer systems and databases are protected against unauthorised disclosure, use, loss and damage and have robust protocols in place to deal with a data breach in the unlikely event one should occur. 

We only use third party service providers where we are satisfied that they provide adequate security for your personal data.


We may monitor or record telephone calls for security purposes and to improve the quality of the services we provide to you.

Data retention

The duration for which we keep your personal data depends on the type of information and the purpose for which we use it as well as the nature of Our Relationship.  Some information is kept for a very short time (such as website and app device data) but other information may be kept indefinitely (such as match statistics for professional players).  A detailed explanation is set out in the Relevant ECB Privacy Notice.

Use of your information outside of the United Kingdom

Unless we say otherwise in the Relevant ECB Privacy Notice you are given, we do not transfer personal data outside of the United Kingdom or the European Economic Area other than, potentially, to a few of our service providers in other parts of the world.  Wherever we transfer your personal data outside of the United Kingdom, we will take proper steps to ensure that it is protected in accordance with this Privacy Policy and applicable privacy laws. 

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Privacy laws and practice are constantly developing and we aim to meet high standards.  Our policies and procedures are, therefore, under continual review. We may, from time to time, update our security and privacy policies.  If we want to make any significant changes to the way in which we will use your personal data we will contact you directly and, if required, seek your consent. 

We will ensure ECB websites have our most up to date Privacy Policy and suggest that you visit our privacy pages periodically to review our latest version. 

Updating and correcting information

You may update or correct your personal data online in relevant membership areas or by contacting us in writing or by email (see the section ‘How to contact us’ below). Please include your name, address and/or email address when you contact us as this helps us to ensure that we accept amendments only from the correct person. We encourage you to promptly update your personal data if it changes. 

If you are providing updates or corrections about another person, we may require you to provide us with proof that you are authorised to provide that information to us.

Your rights:

You have a number of legal rights in respect of your personal data.



Your rights include:

Right of access.  The right to receive a copy of the personal data that we hold about you.  The same right applies to any other person whose personal data you provide to us.  We will require proof of identity and proof of authority if the request comes from someone other than the person whose data we are asked to provide.  This will ensure we only provide information to the correct person. 


Right to withdraw consent to direct marketing.  You can exercise this right at any time and can update your preferences yourself or ask us to do it for you.  See section ‘Updating and correcting information’ above for details.


Right to withdraw consent to other processing.  Where the only legal basis for our processing your personal data is that we have your consent to do so, you may withdraw your consent to that processing at any time and we will have to stop processing your personal data.  Please note, this will only affect a new activity and does not mean that processing carried out before you withdrew your consent is unlawful.


Right to rectification.  If you consider any of your personal data is inaccurate, you can correct it yourself or ask us to do it for you (see section ‘Updating and correcting information’ above for details).


Right of restriction.  In limited circumstances you may be able to require us to restrict our processing of your personal data.  For example, if you consider what we hold is inaccurate and we disagree, the processing may be restricted until the accuracy has been verified.


Right of erasure.  In some circumstances, for example, where we have no legal basis for retaining your personal data, you may be entitled to require us to delete your personal data.


Right to object.  Where our processing is based on it being in our legitimate interests, your rights and freedoms, based on your particular situation, may enable you to object to our processing.


Right of portability.  Where you have provided personal data to us electronically, you may be entitled to require us to provide that data to you electronically or to transmit it to another organisation.



Right to complain.  If you have any concerns or complaints about how we are handling your personal data we would prefer you to get in touch with us directly so that we can try to resolve the (see ‘How to contact us’ below). You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at


How to contact us:



Mail                                         Privacy Officer

                                                England and Wales Cricket Board Limited

                                                Lord’s Cricket Ground


                                                NW8 8QZ


Phone                                      0207 432 1200










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