Cook makes call on England comeback
Veteran ends months of speculation about a return to Joe Root's side with the Ashes less than four months away
3 April 2019, 10:27 AM AEST
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook has put to rest any chance he will make a shock comeback in the Ashes this year, declaring he's played his last game for his country.
Cook announced his retirement from international cricket last September, ending a magnificent 161-Test career as England's most prolific run-scorer with a century his final Test at The Oval.
However, in the months after he called time, he teased a potential comeback, saying "never say never" when asked about a possible return to England's Test outfit.
But despite England's top-order issues, a problem that has plagued the Test team since the retirement of Cook's long-term partner Andrew Strauss, the 34-year-old said he won't resume his 12-year career for the Three Lions.
"I've played my last game for England," Cook said.
"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.
"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.
"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."
The Ashes starts on August 1 with the first Test at Edgbaston.
Qantas Ashes Tour of the UK 2019
Tour match: Australia v Australia A, Hampshire, July 23-26
First Test: August 1-5 at Edgbaston, Birmingham
Tour match: Australia v Worcester, August 7-9
Second Test: August 14-18 at Lord's, London
Third Test: August 22-26 at Headingley, Leeds
Tour match: Australia v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Fifth Test: September 12-16 at The Oval, London