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Alastair Cook: "Right time" to step down as England captain

Alastair Cook insists that it is the "right time" for him to step down as England captain due to doubts that he can continue to commit himself 100% to the role.

Alastair Cook has insisted that it is the "right time" for him to step down from his role as England captain.

The 32-year-old announced his decision to end his record-breaking spell in the role earlier this week having led England on more occasions than any other player.

Cook has already expressed his desire to continue playing for his country, but he admits that he doubted his ability to put 100% into the role of captain any longer.

"It's been an incredibly tough decision to make. It's a huge honour to be England captain and I've loved every part of it, even the bad times. Leading England has been an honour for me but it is a job you have to commit 100% to. There have been certain times throughout my four or five years that I've gone to the well and dug pretty deep and coming back from India, the way I felt then, I didn't think I could do it again and it's a job you can't operate at 95%," he told Sky Sports News.

"When I looked in that mirror I felt it was time. It's sad in one sense because I've loved it; I've loved the honour, I've loved the prestige of all of it and leading some great men, but I do think it's the right time for me and the right time for the team that I step down. I've loved it and that is what has made the decision quite hard for me to make, because I knew what I was giving away.

"But I had to be honest with myself, and I look forward to the next part of my career. I look forward to hopefully supporting the new guy as best I can and hopefully scoring some runs as well and being part of England's success. [My advice to my successor] would be 'make sure you don't always do it your way'.

"There are a lot of great people out there who watch a lot of cricket and know probably more than you do or anyone does, so (you should) use that advice and be open to it. Ultimately you have to make that decision out there but use as much advice as you can because a lot of people want you to do very well, because people love seeing England win games of cricket."

Joe Root is the strong favourite to replace Cook as captain.

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England captain Alastair Cook celebrates after winning the 4th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Trent Bridge on August 8, 2015
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