Alastair Cook backed to be a success as England captain

ESSEX batsman Alastair Cook has been backed by his home county to be a success as the new captain of England.

Cook, who was already skipper of the one-day side, was yesterday installed as Test captain following the decision of Andrew Strauss to stand down.

Middlesex and England opener Strauss announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect, with Cook taking on the captaincy role in addition to continuing to lead the one-day side.

Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: “It is a proud day for everyone at the club and county, we are delighted for Alastair and I am sure he will do a great job in his new role.”

Former Essex skipper Ronnie Irani tweeted: “Good luck Cookie! England captain, fantastic. Great lad and will do a fine job.”

Cook, who was raised in the Essex village of Wickham Bishops, joined nearby Maldon Cricket Club and made his debut for the club’s adult third XI aged just 11.

Current first XI captain Jimmy Ainscough, who joined the club in 2002 and played in the first XI with Cook, said: “It is a great honour for him and everyone at Maldon Cricket Club will be extremely proud of him.

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“There is no doubt he will go on and make a success of the job. Every challenge he has been met with he has handled absolutely brilliantly.”

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