'Strauss picked right time'

2012-08-29 18:25

London - Former England captain Michael Atherton said Andrew Strauss had picked the right time to go as he ended his reign as England Test skipper by announcing his retirement from all cricket on Wednesday.

Atherton, also a former opening batsman, said the Middlesex left-hander's loss of form had been the key factor in his decision rather than the fall-out from Kevin Pietersen's controversial texts, alleged to contain criticisms of Strauss, which have seen the shotmaker exiled from the England side.

"I believe him when he says he has been having these thoughts for a while," Atherton said. "He's been in gentle decline for a year or so.

"The time is right for someone else to take over," he added, after Alastair Cook, Strauss's opening partner, was announced as England's new Test captain.

Meanwhile, experienced England seamer James Anderson took to Twitter to salute Strauss.

"Really sad to hear Straussy has called it a day," Anderson posted. "He's done so much for this England team not just as captain but also as a player.

"He will be missed but he hands over to a very fine replacement in Alastair Cook. Best of luck to Cooky and to Straussy in his future."

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairperson Giles Clarke hailed the 100-Test career of the 35-year-old opener and insisted the controversy over text messages from England exile Kevin Pietersen to South African players had not been a catalyst for retirement.

"I think it was very clear from his (Strauss's) comments prior to the last Test match that this matter has only recently reached a serious position and, therefore, it was no part of his decision-making process," said Clarke.

He added: "Andrew Strauss has embodied everything that the nation expects from the England cricket captain. For us all, it has been a rare privilege to work with such a remarkable man.

"But the game must move on and we must congratulate Alastair Cook as Andrew's successor."


  • brian.dixon.790 - 2012-08-29 21:01

    The England of 20 years ago would never countenance allowing Pietersen to play for them again but in this modern age where winning is all, they will find a way to get him back with a few minor apologies. Just watch this space.!!!

  • russel.lunt - 2012-08-29 21:26

    And so Graeme Smith sees off a 3rd England Captain in 3 visits to the Isles.

      pmsdude - 2012-08-30 12:42

      Smith is not my favourite guy but crikey, he is an amazing captain and cricketer, hard and relentless, this series has given me new respect for him, he has to be the greatest captain we have had. He seems to gel nicely with Gary Kirsten too who also deserves a ton of credit. And may the pie brigade now forever swallow their pies!

  • malcolm.lindsaypayne - 2012-08-30 10:49

    Maybe Strauss loss of form has something to do with the mental conflict between him, the team and KP????

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-08-30 12:31

      He has been out of form for more than a year. Nothing to do with KP but probably has quite a bit to do with the stresses of captaincy. The KP issue might have affected him in the third Test at Lord's but his run of bad form goes back a lot further than that.

  • mike.roy.7798 - 2012-08-30 11:41

    Oh the drama,must really be hard being a English cricket supporter at the moment.LOL

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