Former England skipper Alastair Cook has signed a three-year deal with Essex to play on in county cricket after his international retirement at the end of the current Test series against India at The Oval. It means Cook will carry on playing until he is 36 and he’s likely to explain why when he speaks to the national media at The Oval Wednesday morning. Also Read - Virat Kohli Credits Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri For Helping Him to Become Top Test Batsman

According to the Guardian, the contract was signed on Tuesday Essex chief executive Derek Bowden. However, no official confirmation has been made as of now. Also Read - On This Day: Sourav Ganguly And Rahul Dravid Made Their Test Debuts vs England at Lord’s Cricket Ground

On Monday, the 33-year-old surprised everyone when he announced that he will retire from international cricket after the fifth Test of the ongoing five-match series against India.“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,” Cook said. “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. Also Read - MS Dhoni is What he is Today Because of His Unbiased Opinions: RP Singh Recalls Selection Meeting Controversy of 2008

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However, he had said that he will continue to play cricket domestically, for his county Essex. “I would also like to thank Essex County Cricket Club for their help and support ever since I was 12, and I can’t wait to get fully involved with them in the 2019 season. I wish the England team every success in the future, and I will be watching with great excitement.”

The left-handed batsman has amassed 12,254 Test runs and 32 Test centuries from 160 Tests he has played so far. His final Test at The Oval will be his 159th consecutive game in the longest format, the longest such streak in all international cricket.

Fully ensconced as an England legend and a true great of the game, Cook was the leading batsman in two of the greatest overseas triumphs in Test history, England’s Ashes win in 2010/11, and their victory in India in 2012/13.

However, his form has waned in recent times, and despite scoring double hundreds against the Windies and Australia within the last year, he has averaged less than 35 since giving up the captaincy at the end of 2016, a move many expected to rejuvenate him. He has only passed fifty once this year and has decided that now is the right time to call it a day.