Alastair Cook has slammed the ECB for sacking him as one-day captain just months out from England’s World Cup debacle.
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Speaking in Abu Dhabi, Cook said England’s massive tournament-opening losses to Australia and New Zealand proved that his axing was incorrect, saying players were “shell-shocked” and required more leadership throughout the campaign.
“I understand the pressure I was under. I wasn’t scoring the runs I should or could have been scoring, so I understand that my position was in jeopardy. I said at the end of Sri Lanka that if there was a change, I couldn’t complain because I hadn’t scored the runs,” Cook is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“But I think you saw in Australia the dangers of making such a big decision so close to the tournament. I don’t know what’s gone on on that tour, and I can only speak from watching a little bit from afar, but it did look like the lads were shell-shocked from the first two games.
“That’s when you need real leadership to help steer you through. Whether I would have made a difference, I don’t know. I can’t speak about what’s gone on there in depth, but you always back yourself, and I would have loved to have had the opportunity that was taken away from me.
“The selectors made that decision because they thought it was the best for English cricket. Hindsight has probably proved them wrong, but now it’s very easy to say that.”
England were bundled out of the World Cup in the group stage after winning just two of its six games – one being a dead-rubber victory over minnows Afghanistan.
Cook also weighed into the Kevin Pietersen debate, saying he didn’t see a way back for the exiled England batsman.
“I think it’s very unlikely,” Cook said about a Pietersen return.
“There’s been a hell of a lot of stuff happened with his book and all that kind of stuff. It’s a long way back from that.”
The timing of Cook’s comments will not go down well at Lord’s, with the Test captain’s outburst coinciding with the announcement of the squad to tour the West Indies next month.