Alastair Cook leaves the pitch after losing his wicket for 12 during the third day of the fourth Test cricket match between England and India at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, southwest England, on September 1, 2018. Image Credit: AFP

London: England great Alastair Cook announced on Monday he would retire from international cricket after the end of the ongoing home series against India, with the opening batsman saying the time was right as he had "nothing left in the tank".

The 33-year-old Essex left-hander is England's all-time leading Test run-scorer with 12,254 runs at 44.88 including 32 hundreds, while his run of 158 consecutive Test appearances is a world record.

But the former England captain, who has played in 160 Tests in total, has struggled for runs recently and averages a meagre 18.92 from nine Tests this year.

"After much thought and deliberation over the last few months I have decided to announce my retirement from international cricket at the end of this Test series against India," said Cook in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.

"Although it is a sad day, I can do so with a big smile on my face knowing I have given everything and there is nothing left in the tank," he added.

"I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game.

"The thought of not sharing the dressing room, again, with some of my teammates was the hardest part of my decision, but I know the timing is right."

England took an unassailable 3-1 lead in their five-match series against India with a 60-run win in the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday.

The England selectors have yet to announce their squad for the fifth Test at The Oval, which starts on Friday.

But it would be a major surprise if Cook was not allowed one last Test appearance prior to his international retirement


Profile: Alastair Cook

Full name: Alastair Nathan Cook
Born: December 25, 1984, Gloucester (33 years)
Role: Opening batsman
Batting style: Left-hand bat
Bowling style: Occasional right-arm off-spin