Cook salutes Strauss achievements

PA Sport
Alastair Cook has been named the new England Test captain

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Alastair Cook has been named the new England Test captain

Alastair Cook admits he has "huge boots to fill" after succeeding Andrew Strauss as England captain.

Strauss has retired from professional cricket after making 100 Test appearances. The Middlesex batsman led the side to home and away Ashes triumphs as well as their surge to world number one last summer.

Cook said: "Andrew played 100 Test matches, 7,000 runs, and it feels like I've spent all my England career walking out to bat with him. That's a huge hole to fill - and unfortunately it might mean I have to take the first ball now. As an England dressing room it's going to be hard to fill his boots, and I think that's a huge compliment to Andrew Strauss."

He added: "We've got India away and we've got two Ashes series in the next 18 months, so there's a lot of cricket to play and hopefully I can do a good job. I think Straussy summed it up, you've got to throw yourself into it and meet the challenge head-on and I hope I've got the leadership qualities to be able to do that."

Cook took over as one-day captain from Strauss following last year's World Cup and now faces the task of galvanising both the 50-over and Test teams ahead of an arduous 18 months. Following this winter's tour of India, back-to-back Ashes series will loom large on the horizon before the World Cup in Australia.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: "On behalf of the ECB and everyone involved in cricket I'd like to thank Andrew Strauss for his outstanding contribution to the game.

"Andrew has been a highly successful captain and opening batsman for Middlesex and England who will be remembered for leading the side to two Ashes victories and to the top of the test rankings. He has shown tremendous integrity, dedication and commitment both on and off the field and under his leadership the side has grown immeasurably and reached new levels of professionalism.

"Andrew's calmness and authority when dealing with some of the most difficult moments in our sport in recent times should be applauded and I have no doubt that his contribution as an ambassador for the game will be recognised by anyone who has had an opportunity to spend time with him. His legacy within the game will be felt for many years to come and we now need to continue to build on the progress we have made under his leadership.

"I would like to congratulate Alastair on becoming Test captain. He has shown he has the traits needed to be a successful captain and has demonstrated his leadership capabilities as one day captain over the last 16 months. On behalf of the ECB I would like to wish Alastair and Andy Flower all the very best for the exciting challenges that lie ahead."

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