Cook and Broad new England captains
Alastair Cook has been named England's new one-day international captain and Stuart Broad has been handed the leadership of the Twenty20 side in a major shake-up of the limited-overs teams. Andrew Strauss announced his decision to stand down as ODI captain to focus on his Test career, while Paul Collingwood's run in the Twenty20 job is over as England look to the future.
It means that England will have a different captain for each format of the game. Cook has previously led the team on the tour to Bangladesh last year when Strauss was rested, but for Broad it is his first captaincy role at a senior level and he'll now be at the helm when England defend their Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka next year.
"It has never been tried before so I am excited by the opportunity it provides us with," Andy Flower, the England team director said of the three captains. "We don't know 100% whether it will work and be the most efficient system but we're going to give it a try."
On the Bangladesh tour Cook made scores of 64, 60 and 32 in a 3-0 victory in the ODIs, before anchoring England's twin Test wins with a pair of centuries at Chittagong and Dhaka. Despite the relative paucity of the opposition, the challenge he faced in unfamiliar conditions was immense, not to mention the ignominy he would have faced had he failed to complete a clean sweep of five international wins out of five.
Despite some doubts about the speed and power of Cook's strokeplay, Strauss's departure from the limited-overs scene creates a vacancy for an opener who can be relied upon to bat through an innings, and besides, with a powerful cut and an aggressive slog-sweep, Cook himself believes he has the ability to build on an ODI record of 858 runs at 33.00, with one century against India in 2007.
"I've worked hard on my limited overs cricket in recent times - I've never seen myself as a Test batsman exclusively and I know I have a lot to offer strategically and as a top order batsman in one-day cricket," he said. "I'm excited by the challenge of taking our 50-over cricket to new heights and I believe I can play an integral role with the bat as well as captain.
"I will continue to work closely with Andrew and also Stuart as we form a leadership team across all forms of the game. We have the chance to work together and share ideas which will benefit our cricket in all three formats."
Collingwood, who captained England's Twenty20 side on 30 occasions and oversaw England's successful World Twenty20 campaign in 2010, retired from Test cricket following the Ashes earlier this year but remains available for the limited-overs side. Broad will make his debut as captain when he leads England's Twenty20 side against Sri Lanka in Bristol on June 25.
"It's a huge privilege to be named England Twenty20 captain and form part of a leadership team that I've no doubt will work well together with a great deal of synergy," Broad said. "I've always enjoyed playing the shortest form of the game and I relish the opportunity to develop my leadership skills as England's Twenty20 captain. As captain the chance to work closely with Andy Flower is an extremely exciting one and as current World Twenty20 champions I know there is a real responsibility to continue the team's recent success."
Strauss, meanwhile, has decided that, at the age of 34 and with four years to go until the 2015 World Cup, the time is right to follow the example of many leading cricketers of recent times, and retire from ODIs to concentrate on Tests. A tough home summer against Sri Lanka and India is looming, but the long-term goal is a repeat of his home and away Ashes wins, with the next series coming back-to-back in 2013-14.
"I've enjoyed my time as England One-Day captain immensely and I'm extremely proud of the strides we've made in limited overs cricket over the past two years," he said. "We still have a long way to go if we're to achieve our goal of winning ICC global events and I feel now is the right time for me to step aside and ensure someone else takes up that challenge.
"Retiring from one-day cricket will also enable me to focus solely on the Test captaincy and our ongoing development in the Test arena as we also strive to be the top ranked team in world cricket.
"I look forward to working closely with both Alastair and Stuart as we work together to progress England's development across all forms of the game. Both Alastair and Stuart are proven world-class cricketers and both have outstanding leadership qualities which will ensure England's success for many years to come."