England opening batsman Alastair Cook has ended speculation over his future by stepping down as captain of the Test team.
Cook, 32, was appointed in August 2012 and led the side for a record 59 Tests, including Ashes series wins in 2013 and 2015.
His departure comes after a 4-0 series defeat in India late last year, during which he revealed he was considering his position.
“It’s been a huge honour to be England captain and to lead the Test team over the past five years," said Cook.
“Stepping down has been an incredibly hard decision but I know this is the correct decision for me and at the right time for the team."
Cook, England's most prolific Test batsman with more than 11,000 runs from 140 appearances, will remain available for selection.
He added: “Playing for England really is a privilege and I hope to carry on as a Test player, making a full contribution and helping the next England captain and the team however I can.”
England's director of cricket Andrew Strauss paid tribute to his former team-mate.
"His country owes him a great debt of gratitude," said Strauss.
"He's led the team with determination, conviction and a huge amount of pride over the last five years and his record stands for itself.
"With more matches leading the team than anyone, including two Ashes wins, he deserves to be seen as one of our country's great captains."
Fellow batsman Joe Root is the favourite to succeed Cook.
England chiefs expect to appoint the next Test captain before 22 February, when they are due to travel to the West Indies for a one-day international series.
Strauss added: “We now move on with the process of appointing the right successor.
"There are a number of established players who are playing formal or informal leadership roles and whilst we've rightly not spoken to anyone in relation to the Test captaincy so far, we can now talk fully and openly within the team."