Andrew Strauss admitted it was his lack of form that was behind his decision retire from all forms of cricket.
The England captain will hand over to fellow opening batsman Alastair Cook with immediate effect after not only quitting the leadership, but walking away from the playing arena as well.
It has been a difficult summer for the England management, with the team losing the number one Test ranking to South Africa as well as the furore surrounding Kevin Pietersen.
But Strauss insisted the Pietersen issue did not affect his decision to retire.
"It's a very tough decision. For me the driver to it all quite frankly was my form with the bat," he said. "In truth I haven't batted well enough for a long period of time now.
"I think for a captain to perform his role properly, it's important you're not a passenger in the side, but also that people aren't speculating as to whether you should be in the side or not.
"I think that would have been too big a distraction to the side going forward. I know that energy-wise I wasn't going to improve by batting levels. I'd run my race.
"I was pretty sure I was going to make this decision before the Kevin Pietersen situation arose.
"What happened I didn't feel undermine me in the eyes of the team in any way. It was a difficult to deal with, but not in terms of being more or less keen to lead the side forward.
"It's just one of these decisions you just know, in your heart, how you're feeling about things, that your time is up.
"I was feeling like that before the South Africa series started to be honest, and certainly by the end of the series I was very clear in my mind.
"I first spoke to Andy (Flower) about this a few weeks ago and said I'm considering it and would talk to him at end of the (South Africa) series, by the time I spoke to him again my mind was made up and I think he knew that."
Strauss said that he believes England are in safe hands with coach Andy Flower and new captain Alastair Cook at the helm.
"I didnt want to be influenced by anyone else. It's very much a personal decision. You know how you're feeling, you when you're time is up," he added.
"I also have great confidence in Andy Flower and Alastair Cook's ability to lead the side forward. I'm very conscious that after losing the South Africa series and the number one ranking it's time for the side to refresh, and have a little think.
"I think this is a great way to do that and I think Alastair's going to come in and instill a huge amount of energy and that's going to motivate people and push them forward."
Asked about his next step, he said: "That's always a difficult question to answer, I've got some ideas, some things I'd like to get involved in.
"I think long-term I'd like to have some more challenges ahead of me in whatever it is I do, but I'm going to take a bit of time to think about what exactly that means and what that might be.
"And while I'm taking that time I'm looking forward to spending some time with my family and probably getting my golf handicap down a bit as well.
"I would love to stay involved in the game, I'm hugely passionate about the game, I feel like I've got more to offer the game at some stage in the future but in what capacity I've got no idea."
Is it the right time for Andrew Strauss to quit as England Test captain?