Essex CCC have quashed reports around that Alastair Cook has decided to retire from cricket at the end of the season, insisting that discussions will be held after their final game regarding his future.

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A Daily Mail report said that Cook was set to retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the 2023 County Championship in order to spend more time on his family farm, and to focus on his career in the media.

In a media release, the club stated: “Essex Cricket would like to clarify that, contrary to news articles published today, Alastair Cook will be discussing his playing future with the Club at the end of the current season.

“Cook, and the First Team squad, are fully focused on the last two LV= Insurance County Championship matches and on being involved in a close-fought race for further honours.”

Cook has made 808 runs so far this summer (updated to the first innings of Essex’s ongoing match against Hampshire) from 23 innings at 36.72, with one hundred and three fifties. He is the leading run-scorer among Division One openers this summer.

In an illustrious career spanning over two decades – he debuted against Nottinghamshire in September 2003 – Cook has made 26,615 runs at 46.69 first-class matches before the ongoing round of the County Championship. He made 74 hundreds and 125 other fifty-plus scores.

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Cook retired from Test cricket in 2018 with a hundred and a fifty in his final Test, at the Kia Oval – exactly how he had made his debut, at Nagpur in 2005/06.

In Test cricket, he made 12,472 runs at 45.35, including – most famously – 766 runs in Australia in 2010/11 and, as captain, 562 in India in 2012/13. These remain England’s last series wins in these countries. As opener, his 11,845 Test runs remain a world record.

With 190 points, Essex are currently placed second in the County Championship Division One, behind Surrey’s 208. Both teams are playing their penultimate matches.

Apart from batting and bowling points, teams get 16 points for a win, eight for a tie, and five for a draw, with a three-point bonus for the chasing side if a match is drawn with scores level.