England Test skipper Andrew Strauss on Wednesday announced retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect, a decision which came amidst the controversies surrounding his strained relationship with controversial Kevin Petersen and his subsequent exile.

The 35-year-old Strauss took the surprise decision to quit cricket after a week’s soul-searching during a family break in the aftermath of the 0—2 Test loss to South Africa which saw England being dethroned as the number one Test team.

He will be replaced as Test captain by Alastair Cook, who will also continue to lead the one-day international side

“After much thought over the last few weeks, I have decided to step down as England Test captain and announce my retirement from all forms of cricket,” Strauss said in a statement.

“It has clearly been a tough decision to make, but I believe that it is both in the best interests of the England cricket team and myself to step down at this stage,” he added.

Strauss made his England debut in a one-day international against Sri Lanka in 2003 and was awarded a Test cap a year later against New Zealand, scoring a century on debut.

He played 100 Tests for England and led the side in 50 matches. He scored 7037 runs in Test cricket and 4202 in 124 ODIs. His international career lasted 10 years, during which he scored 21 Test centuries and six ODI hundreds.

But his captaincy had come under the scanner after he struggled for runs in the series against South Africa which was also marked by the SMS episodes involving Petersen.

Petersen has been in exile since then for sending uncharitable text messages about Strauss and coach Andy Flower to South African players.

“There are too many people who have helped me on this incredible journey to mention them all by name, but I would like to thank all the Middlesex and England players I have played alongside, as well as the phenomenal coaches and support staff with whom I have been fortunate enough to work”, he said.