Alastair Cook on England comeback: ‘I’ve played my last game’
Alastair Cook retired in 2018 as England's leading run-scorer in Tests. © Getty

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook has reiterated that his retirement from international cricket is final and non-negotiable.

Since he called time on his 12-year England career that spanned 161 Tests last September, Cook took the “never say never” line when asked once about his thoughts on a u-turn.

But asked once more, against the backdrop of England’s batting struggles in Tests, Cook said his decision was final.

“I’ve played my last game for England,” Cook said on Tuesday. “There’s always that one thing if there’s an absolute emergency or something but I’m nowhere near that mindset.

“I’ve had 12 amazing years playing for England. It’s time for the next generation of top-order players to try and make their mark. In terms of pulling on that cap and playing cricket for England, it’s sad it’s never going to happen again but I’ve had my time. (READCook hits pre-Championship form with 150* for Essex)

Cook, England’s all-time run-getter in Test cricket, stated that his decision to retire last year came after much introspection about where his game was headed.

“I’ve had an amazing journey, I’ve loved it but towards the end I wasn’t the player I was and things had to move on,” he said. “It was always going to come up because I’ve never said ‘no’. I was asked one question in a kind of half-jokey manner about it and it’s very hard to say ‘never’ because you just don’t know what the circumstance will be.

“But pretty much you can say ‘no’. It’s so far off my radar. It’s time for other people to go and open the batting for England.

“As I’ve said, I’ve loved it but they won’t be making a phone call to me anyway and no matter what happens I’ve got the summer with Essex and I’m looking forward to spending it with them.”

Cook has signed a three-year deal with Essex last year which will keep him with the club until 2021. He was knighted in February.