Alastair Cook has resigned as England Test captain after four and a half years in the role. Whilst it may come as a shock, there are already murmurs about who will replace the Essex batsman. But the real question to ask is, was he a success?

His achievements

In many ways Alastair Cook most certainly was. On a personal note he achieved numerous accolades. In 2012 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and in both 2013 and 2016 Cook was named ICC World Test Captain as reported in the Guardian newspaper. On a team level, there were a number of highs.

There were the Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as the series wins in India and South Africa. What was also very impressive, which a number of his predecessors failed to do, was that Cook continued to deliver with the bat when needed. He is not only England's highest run-scorer in Test cricket with 11,057, but his 140 Test appearances and 30 centuries are also England records, as reported on the BBC sport website. It is as a result of his successes as captain that led to such praise from the England and Wales Cricket Board director of cricket Andrew Strauss, who Cook replaced. He not only said that Cook was owed "a great debt of gratitude" by his country, but that Cook "deserves to be seen as one of our country's great captains".

The question marks

However, there are those who question whether he was a success. Jonathan Agnew at the BBC stated that there have "always been questions, particularly over his tactics". He was also seen to be stubborn, a character trait that Agnew believed was important as an opening batsman, but "not always ideal in a captain".

Furthermore, Cook's winning percentage of 40.67 is only the fourth best of the six captains to have led England in more than forty Tests. But the most difficult time for Cook was in 2014, Agnew noted. This was not only due to the "Ashes whitewash down under" but also the home series defeat by Sri Lanka. Whilst they may have lingered in his mind, it seemed that the defeat to India this past winter was the final nail in the coffin.

Cook decided to leave the post after "reflecting on England's recent 4-0 loss", as reported on Sky News.


Whatever people think, Alastair Cook did a tremendous job as England captain. He led from the front and was a great professional through the good times and the bad. And that is how he should be remembered.