England news

Pietersen axing 'clearer soon' - Cook

Andrew McGlashan

April 1, 2014

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

A dejected Alastair Cook leads his team around the outfield, Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2014
Breaking silence: Alastair Cook acknowledged questions about Kevin Pietersen and said clearer answers would come soon © Getty Images
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England captain Alastair Cook has spoken for the first time since Kevin Pietersen was sacked and admitted his "frustration" and not yet being able to give a full explanation of the reasons behind the decision.

He said that the factors behind Pietersen being dumped would "become clearer soon" although whether that means the ECB will come forth before the October cut-off that both parties are believed to have previously agreed remains to be seen.

Cook was speaking at the Essex media day where it was expected that he would not discuss England matters, but he did respond when asked about Pietersen as well as Ashley Giles' position as favourite to be the new head coach.

When asked about why Pietersen was not considered part of England's future he said: "I can't answer that question totally at this moment in time which is incredibly frustrating for me," he told Sky Sports News.

"People will say I'm sitting on the fence, but there are a number of reasons that will become clearer soon but you have to respect the decision and the position I'm in at this precise moment in time. I know everyone will keep asking that question until we give the answers but at the moment we just can't and I'd love to talk about something slightly different if possible."

Pressed further before being allowed to move on to another subject he added. "If anyone thinks the decision was taken lightly, without a lot of consideration - a lot of things went into the decision. It was a tough decision, the decisions will be made clearer in due course and you just have to respect that. It is frustrating, but that is the position I'm in at the moment. It is what it is."

Cook was more forthcoming in his praise of Giles and his credentials to take on the head coach role, despite England's first-round exit at the World T20 which finished in the shambolic defeat against Netherlands.

The short list for the role, with candidates due to be interviewed in the next fortnight, is believed to include Nottinghamshire's Mick Newell and the former England coach Peter Moores while the Daily Telegraph has reported that Trevor Bayliss is another candidate.

While 'big name' coaches such as Gary Kirsten and Stephen Fleming have not been attracted to the position, Cook said that England were "lucky to have the candidates we have."

"Gilo has had a tough winter, we have all had a tough winter, he's a very, very good coach, he's a fantastic coach. He's a good man as well," Cook said. "There are a lot of decisions to be made over the next few weeks, and important decisions as well. There are a number of candidates, we are lucky we can choose from a good number of candidates."

Cook does not have an official say in the final decision, but will be consulted and will speak strongly of Giles after their period working together with the one-day side. "It is an important relationship, you do have an input into it," he said. "You saw what a strong relationship Andy Strauss and Andy Flower had. Ashley is one of the favourites because he knows the system well and I've enjoyed working with him."

Cook conceded that the dismantling of England's Test side in Australia had been a surprise: there are potentially seven places up for grabs in the first Test team of the summer against Sri Lanka. The make-up of the 50- and 20-over sides will not escape scrutiny, either.

"That Test side which got us to No. 1, won three Ashes in a row, won't play again - it has broken quicker than any of us imagined. When the side breaks up there are places up for grabs. Any player who scores a lot of runs or take a lot of wickets will be up for selection.

"It's an exciting time for English cricket. It's a time where we have to look forward. It's been an incredibly tough winter, we can't hide from that. There are a huge number of reasons to be optimistic."

For anyone watching England collapse in Chittagong, or Sydney, optimistic probably was not the first word that sprung to mind.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Andrew McGlashan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 3, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

Slightly off track here but related to the England side.

Who do we think will open with Cook this year. Something tells me Carberry has played his last game. Would they go back to a player they controversially dropped and who had a decent 2st class season or the guy they moved down the order after one failed series or maybe even move Trott (if playing) or Bell up?

Posted by __PK on (April 2, 2014, 21:00 GMT)

There are a number of very good reasons why Pietersen was sacked, and we'll tell you...as soon as we figure out what they are.

Posted by JG2704 on (April 2, 2014, 19:29 GMT)

@wapuser on (April 1, 2014, 19:48 GMT) I don't think Compton is particularly outspoken . I've certainly not read anything that he has badmouthed anyone and he certainly doesn't epitomise flair. Johnny maybe has a little flair but is probably one of the least outspoken guys around the England set up. I think you may be right re flair and being outspoken but not sure those 2 names are the best examples

Posted by JG2704 on (April 2, 2014, 19:29 GMT)

I'm as frustrated as the next man at not knowing the whole truth here . I like to think I'm fairly neutral here and won't agree with ECB if I feel they are in the wrong and won't agree with KP if I feel his actions warranted his sacking. But Bob Martin is spot on. We must also bear in mind 2 things 1 - KP himself has not come out with any real protest and you'd kind of think under normal circumstances an outspoken man like KP would speak up if he felt hard done by 2 - Tremlett and Carberry have spoken up for KP and while they both may be correct in what they've seen from him they may not have witnessed what others have witnessed.

You can look at it 2 ways here

1 - KP has fallen out with just about every club he's played for 2 - England chiefs/captains don't seem to take criticism too well

Posted by bobmartin on (April 2, 2014, 18:57 GMT)

If you people complaining about the lack of information coming from Cook and Pietersen kept up to date on the issue instead of merely mouthing off... you'd know that neither of them can divulge the information you keep crying about...... Cook is bound by a confidentailly clause in his contract, and Pietersen is bound to secrecy as part of his termination settlement with the ECB.... So for goodness sake check the facts before you start denigrating people or you begin to look as if you don't have a clue what you're talking about and therefore your comments lack any credibility...

Posted by southstoke49 on (April 2, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

Shame I used to like Cook but I think he must still have jet-lag. Confidence in Giles!!! but yet none in a batsmen who made more runs than him. At this rate Dernbach and Wright will be in the test team soon. The captaincy position needs to be reviewed with all the other upcoming appointments.

Posted by TheChap on (April 2, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

Perhaps the real reason that Cook or any current England player is staying tight-lipped, is due probably due to Confidentiality Agreements and Non-Disclosure Agreements that are either part of their ECB Central Contract or specially re-arranged after this KP situation.

Whatever comes out in October - it's bound to keep everyone from esteemed journo's to bar-room bores occupied for months!

Interesting to note, that the two players who have spoken out on this winters England disasters are Carberry and Tremlett...two players who perhaps may not play for England again.

Posted by woody3 on (April 2, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

Not sure about Cooks captaincy or judgement. Cant believe Giles really is the best available. Giles is a fantastic coach? Based on performance as county coach, Peter Moores is probably best county coach ever and he was shit as England coach, they are very different roles.

For example as international coach have to get the best out of highly talented and ego driven rich superstars, such as KP. Its not so much about making the best out of journeymen who need the job to pay the bills.

However Cook is one hell of Batsman despite clear technical flaws.

Posted by AnthonyNo1 on (April 2, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

When will we hear from the other members of the team - the ones that seem to be too frightened to talk! Moreover, the fact that they are too frighten to talk tells me everything about the team ethos and environment.

It looks likes your decision to axe KP has made the team ethos worse not better

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

The more time goes on with no adequate explanation offered, the more difficult it becomes to "respect the decision taken", Alastair. Especially when one of your inner circle (Stuart Broad, the T20 captain) puts the absence of Kevin Pietersen as one of the reasons for the team's poor performance at the T20 world cup. We also have the likes of Michael Carberry going out of their way to say how helpful Pietersen was, and even Graeme Swann (who is no Pietersen fan) said his attitude after his return was exemplary. I'm not privy to the inner workings of the England team, but the available evidence from those who are doesn't back up your version of events Alastair.

Posted by Speng on (April 2, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

"Any player who scores a lot of runs or take a lot of wickets will be up for selection. "

Right... the rubbish fast bowlers they took to Australia last winter are no indicator of that statement.

Interesting that things are so exciting and wonderful and great but the team is so rubbish. Obviously there's some detachment from reality here. They better get their reality straight or India's going to give them a rude awakening this summer.

Posted by BounceTrack_BULLY on (April 2, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

Pietersen might have told Cook that, "He is the top scorer and have the freedom to do what he wish" after the Ashes. This might have frustrated Cook.

Posted by fwd079 on (April 2, 2014, 12:21 GMT)

Oh come on Cook! Clear things already, no need to be a drama queen about it.

I am still waiting for any other excuse than "Attitude" problem, if that's the case, then Trott needs firing as well, because "Burnt out" is not equal to "Stress" and everyone should know better. Really disappointed by what's our Eng team's management is doing.

Posted by cloudmess on (April 2, 2014, 12:05 GMT)

Lord_Mac, as you speak for the establishment, what in your opinion would be a justifiable reason for permanently sacking a player for non-cricketing reasons? KP must have done something really, really terrible, in front of Cook and the ECB, which oddly no-one else - not even Carberry and Tremlett, still involved in the team at the time - seem to know or have been told about. What could this terrible thing which is being kept secret even from some of England's own players be? Or do you think it is likelier that KP stood up in a dressing-room meeting for players only and questioned Flower's methods? And Flower, recognising his own position had become untenable, resigned on the proviso that KP be permanently banned and Giles made to agree to this on proviso of being Flower's undemocratically elected successor ("the job is yours, Ashley - just change your stance about KP being a million dollar asset, and make sure you don't lose to Holland...")

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (April 2, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

2 steps for England's success in future.. 1. Giles should step down and bring Kirsten in . 2. Call back KP.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 11:25 GMT)

Will be very interested to see what explanation Cook seems to think will be worth the wait, and just how it will make it clearer for everyone...

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

However 'compelling' the reasons might have been for the axing of a batsman of the calibre of Kevin Pietersen, England needed a huge 'scapegoat' for their Ashes humiliation and they didn't need to look further than KP.

For a large chunk of the previous decade Pietersen had been one of England's most consistent batsman and merited a far fairer deal than being apportioned a massively disproportionate share of the blame for a colossal collective team failure down under.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

KP should have got axed during South Africa series itself after he sent text messages about his own Captain. He s just another good cricketer who thinks he can do everything on his own all the time. Few others are Michael Clarke, Sehwag,Gambhir etc. They are matchwinners, but not everyday.

Posted by Baundele on (April 2, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

You dump the best player of the team, and ask the people to respect it before providing an explanation!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (April 2, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

Given that more and more players are coming out of the woodwork and expressing their surprise/disgust at KP's axing, and stating that KP was "useful/behaved" during previous series including their abysmal Ashes series in Australia - whatever this 'frustrating secret that once told, will clarify everything' is must an absolute whopper and/or something very personal towards Cook and/or senior management. We'll just have to wait and see.

"Exciting time for English cricket" he [Cook] says... I'm afraid many fans wont agree.

Posted by AnthonyNo1 on (April 2, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

This is not looking good for Cook or the ECB. So far almost all the players that have spoken out have said KP say he did nothing wrong and the ECB won't say what he did wrong. This looks like a personality clash with Flower and Cook so the designs was not made for sporting reasons. So, if the ECB don't produce avid reasons this is really gong to backfire in their faces

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (April 2, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

The ECB should just lay out the process that is happening - if there is legal reasons for staying quiet then they should outline exactly what they are and advise when the sanctions are likely to be lifted - as a cricketing fan i find it disappointing that they cant give answers and wont say whats going on (apart from saying that they cant say anything). It makes matters worse when they then go on to say that matters havent been taken lightly and that its the best for the team moving forward. It wasnt best during the WT20. It the mood and culture in the dressing room any better now than it was a few months ago? I doubt it. Can the culture not change with KP in the team - if the answer is no then i would question the leadership and management culture before i question the playing culture.

Posted by cryptq1 on (April 2, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

Even though the ECB has become a circus I'm not sure that putting clowns like Cook and Giles in charge is a good idea.

Posted by geoffboyc on (April 2, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

Just read that Cook also said "we all know how important team spirit and unity are". In other words "nobody should speak out of turn or question the coach or captain". Team spirit is all very well if you have the match winning ability to go with it, but there is a balance between team unity and cricketing flair and good coaches and captains can manage that balance. I'm no great fan of KP in certain respects but, even in the disaster zone of the Ashes tour and without playing well, he still scored more runs than Cook or any of the others. Cook also said it "took an awful lot of guts" to sack Pietersen. Surely it would have been braver to find ways of harnessing his batting to the rest of the team until the selectors and new coach had someone better to replace him with? Or is the skipper not capable of that?

Posted by MarkTaffin on (April 2, 2014, 8:10 GMT)

"Have to respect" and "exciting times for English cricket".

Does Cook actual realise what he's saying? (do the ECB PR not prepare him properly?

Absolute madness. This get worse and worse every time an ECB-type appears.

And they got to get back on the pitch and play, yet...

Posted by Lord_mac on (April 2, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

KP lovers - the reason you have to respect the decision is because an embargo was put on it during the negotiations with KP's own team. Why? Because it was in KP's interests not to divulge the reasons for it. Try thinking outside the box for a moment and speculate on what the reasons might have been . People - not even the ECB - do not make such momentous decisions lightly. And to think - as most of you obviously do - that they simply haven't noticed the quality of the player and have ignored it in making the decision - is superficial thinking. When the reasons do come out, it wll make a lot more sense than it does now.

Posted by Harlequin. on (April 2, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

@The_Other_Side - KP is not making noise because he is legally prevented from doing so.

And this fan hasn't moved on, I am still appalled KP got dropped.

Posted by Mike_Tyson on (April 2, 2014, 7:34 GMT)

@bootlicker - I doubt very much that England will be "blown away" by SL in Eng. SL are terrible away from home.

Posted by The_other_side on (April 2, 2014, 7:09 GMT)

The funniest part of the whole episode is: people who axed KP are making ,ore noise than KP himself!! The truth may never be laid bare in front of public, however histrionics like these leave a very bad taste.

Move on Cooksey, the public already have!!!

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 6:01 GMT)

First of all England need to forget what happened in last six months. In order to prepare for future and the Icc World Cup 2015 next year, which they (Eng) we're expecting & planning to win since last couple years . Especially for the World Cup, whic they never achieved even they were the one who invented cricket, sounds so shamefull. So they need to retain Kp for sure without him England won't. doesn't matter if Kp performet well or not. Cuz if he is with eng team they will automatically do well. He is a player like VivR(wesi)schin(ind) for eng. Here I would like see Eng best of 11 for odi n World Cup Cook(C)Allex Hales,Kp,Bell,Root,Morgan,Jbuttler(WK)Bstokes,/Criss Tidwell,James Ander,SBoard,Finn.extr

Posted by CricketFirst on (April 2, 2014, 5:46 GMT)

England will improve when they begin to think of cricket beyond Ashes. They still live in the past where only ENG & AUS played cricket. Open your eyes and think broad.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (April 2, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

England are a side desperately in need of regeneration. They played dire, joyless cricket in 2013. Its time for a more dynamic, pro-active approach.

Posted by smartrah on (April 2, 2014, 5:31 GMT)

The axing will be as pointless as Trott's retirement

Posted by Badcats on (April 2, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

My opinion is although England were decimated down under that is no reason for a team to implode and have a 'clear out' unless the team was already in turmoil beforehand. We still have players that had been successful up until that point.

Kp being discarded is a loss. Giles becoming the coach will be a mistake as he seems to carry something from Flowers system of management where there is poor communication with players. If Anderson , Prior and Cooks batting return to the fore I will be happy by all means blood some new young'uns but don't discard the older players as they still have a lot to give. Bring back Compton also.

Posted by MeijiMura on (April 2, 2014, 4:21 GMT)

Cook should have done the right thing and resigned as captain as soon as the fifth and final Test in Sydney finished.

Posted by bootlicker on (April 2, 2014, 4:19 GMT)

Mr Cook, Remember, the country comes above all these petty differences.In every country, in every team this kind of situations arise, England not an exception. Sri Lanka had problems with Malinga, Mahela & Sanga, WI had problems with Gayle, PAK had problems with Afridi but end of the day they patched up those differences and played as a unit. In contrast England publisize issues and discarded KP. The repercussions are obvious, England was humiliated by Associate members. Don't think England did well against SL, That win was a fluke. England is minnows in front of Associate members Like Ireland & Netherland. That is the ground reality. If you want to compete with SL in the summer be democratic otherwise England will be blown away by SL.

Posted by Alexk400 on (April 2, 2014, 4:15 GMT)

The problem with England is not KP. They have too many holes in the boat. Retaining KP they are not going to win , so they get rid of him. It makes sense but they deprived of top quality cricket from cricket point of view. 1996 bulls managed different characters to make winning team. Its just that England has poor management team who lacks confidence in their ability to manage. They just try to blame KP for their own mess. It kida nasty and pathetic. Cook is below average captain. he will be downhill from now onwards. Because his captaincy is poor , he will struggle with batting also.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 4:10 GMT)

u will face more humil ation without a superstar if kp wud hv bn in t20 side eng wud hv def done better

Posted by Alpalcal on (April 2, 2014, 3:59 GMT)

This article really worries me. I just have this feeling that Giles was appointed three months ago, the current process is a sham, Cook has been sent out to boost Giles credentials... the old boy's club is back. How can Cook back Giles? And why would he? He needs to grow up. Giles does not have a good record and, surely, after the shambles of the last six months the ECB have to pick "the best man for the job". It makes you wonder when people talk up another person as being "a very nice man". We don't want someone nice... Deja vu 1990s all over again.

Posted by vallavarayar on (April 2, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

Yes Sir, Dumbledore. It will all become clearer in due course.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2014, 2:11 GMT)

There is no doubt that KP is probably a pain to manage but you can't deny his ability and you can also not say he is any more difficult than most of the Premier League football players. Somehow Sir Alex was able to manage a group of huge egos (way worse than KP I would guess) at Man U and consistently win titles year in year out. I am afraid as a Manager/Coach you have to just adapt to the personalities at your disposal. This is a huge mistake in my humble opinion, it is not as though England have talent lining up to take over from KP.

Posted by cloudmess on (April 2, 2014, 0:42 GMT)

Well, the KP 'explanation' is going to have to be something good now, given that every player from the winter tour who no longer considers themselves under ECB jurisdiction (eg Swann, Carberry, Tremlett etc), has spoken out against the decision.

Posted by David_Boon on (April 1, 2014, 23:59 GMT)

Typical England. Dumping KP is one of the worst decisions ever. Broad as a captain is one of the worst decisions ever. Appointing Giles will be one of the worst decisions ever. Reading these articles in recent times shows they have scared off any decent coaching candidate, and are going to be stuck with Giles. You have to love how 6 months ago they thought they were on top of the world, now they're talking about rebuilding. Typical England.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 23:31 GMT)

I am optimistic actually. The old team was jaded and hadn't played really good cricket since the India tour (they won the Ashes primarily through Ian Bell, and enough good performances by Anderson, Broad and Swann to run through a broken Australia). They weren't much fun to watch anymore. I for one am keen to see a few new players get their chance under a new, hopefully slightly more liberal coach. Robson, Ali, Ballance, Stokes, Woakes, Buttler, Kerrigan, Jordan, whoever breaks out of the county scene (Willey? Newton? Wood? Rayner?) - all have the potential to be class players and a breath of fresh air. But Cook, Root, Bell, Trott, Prior, Anderson, Broad, Onions, Finn... they'll all be trying hard to justify or regain their places. It's going to be a more interesting County Championship than usual.

Posted by Nik84 on (April 1, 2014, 23:20 GMT)

@bobmartin Supports are supporting a country not any business so they are answerable to public who spends money and watch their country proudly competing not for these nonsense politics. so stop taking ECB's side they are answerable coz they run cricket of the COUNTRY not a for any mc donalds .have some patriotism or else watch premier leagues of cricket all over the world. Pietersen deserve a place in side as he is their leading scorer and best batsman. Cook failed miserably but for sake of saving his place he is doing yes sir yes sir to ECB and all other fellow cricketers too (Ashes Squad) , place should be on merit not politics.


Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 23:18 GMT)

Is Cook still captain - then all the hot air about resigning was that just hot air. Come on Cook do the decent thing. You are NO leader, you are a useful batsman without the captaincy responsibility. Make way.

Cook and Giles - God forbid.

Posted by Nik84 on (April 1, 2014, 23:12 GMT)

dear @bobmartin if you think ECB is business then i'm not sure why its called as "play for your country" should be "play for your employee" don't worry about country if they lose or even go at the bottom of the rank. It should be all about increasing your profit then rather than public's sentiments. They are representing country not a business so ppl have every right to know its not a franchise. All ppl from england are also involved indirectly as if they lose it is displayed as England lost to blah blah so who so ever support their country they feel bad too. You can not compare ECM with business, don't know from where u got that thought. ECB represent country so they have this responsibility to make country proud and are answerable to public like PM or Govt. Not like they can take decisions on personal enmity with a player if that player is playing for a country and doing well they are answerable to all who supports. COUNTRY MATTERS

Posted by whoster on (April 1, 2014, 23:00 GMT)

@Jono Austin. Spot on - it is the job of management to manage. We all know Pietersen could at times be troublesome - but so too were the likes of Boycott, Botham and Flintoff. The bottom line is that England have discarded their best batsman of the past decade - despite him having a probable 3-4 years of Test cricket left in him. Whenever the ECB get round to it, I doubt we'll hear a satisfactory explanation. All this dithering and farce is making Alastair Cook look like a right dipstick, and it's a shocking state of affairs that they've allowed the England captain to be put in such a humiliating and powerless position.

England have already lost Graeme Swann - their best bowler. To also get rid of their best batsman will need a hell of a lot of justifying.

The England management and team is a shambles at the moment, and the whole set-up reeks of robotic obedience and secrecy.

Posted by regofpicton on (April 1, 2014, 22:55 GMT)

I don't particularly follow English cricket, but i do follow NZ politics, and some of this sounds very familiar. The "he's a very good coach - a very very good coach - a very very very good coach" rang such a bell. Some years ago we had particular unattractive and unsuccessful Prime Minister, and I can remember like it was yesterday one of his cabinet saying something very like "X is a wonderful leader, and it is not his fault no-one follows him". And as for the idea that "the excommunication of KP was essential, but i cannot tell you why", I can only counter by saying "If you can't see that this is utterly ridiculous, i cannot explain it"

Posted by ruester on (April 1, 2014, 22:42 GMT)

It's taken Cook two months to utter a word on this matter. A brave decision would of him to step down after overseeing the worst Ashes tour i history and the disintegration of a team that not that long ago where world beaters. I'm still flabbergasted at their inability to cope with a dissenting player, their solution, let's not pick him. I have to say the team unity has looked better than ever during the ODI series and T20 World Cup, since KP is not there.......oh no my mistake.......it looks the worse team ever!

Posted by Patchmaster on (April 1, 2014, 22:35 GMT)

What a shambles. I cannot believe Ashley Giles is even in the running for the ENG job. The rest of the World must be laughing.

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (April 1, 2014, 22:33 GMT)

Already KP's career is over as far as donning ENG shirt is concerned,so whether cook opens up or not is a mere formality..!!.. If KP Scores well in IPL then it will just create a big fuss about his comeback,that's for sure..!!

Posted by TheKeeper on (April 1, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

How do you win anything when you have sacked the match-winner?

Posted by serious-am-i on (April 1, 2014, 21:27 GMT)

Giles was a defensive bowler, still I remember the negative lines he bowled when he toured India against Sachin & Sehwag, it was the moment, I had lost respect for him as a bowler. I hate watching bowlers sticking to a negative line through out the course of the match, especially when the bowler is considered to be the front line bowler. If it all negative line was going to be bowled, u can use a part timer for that, u don't need a specialist doing part-timers job. Anyways, if Giles turns up as English coach, it won't be any surprise if England turn too defensive & negative especially.. defensive coach & a defensive captain. Brilliant recipe to for non-English fans to avoid watching English matches. Already they handled KP pretty badly, if he was treated such way even before India's tour, I can bet my last penny, England might have returned home with an embarrassing whitewash, thanks to KP they won the series & he was the only face saver in last Ashes. Cook, Flower, Giles - doomed Eng

Posted by geoffboyc on (April 1, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

Most customers couldn't care less about the business decisions of their chosen supermarkets as long as they provide what they want. The ECB is not a business in the same way but seems to see itself as having no obligation to be honest with the people without whose support and interest they wouldn't exist at all. If Cook agrees with their approach then he is partly responsible for the flak, if he disagrees with it he could always do the honourable thing and resign. Perish the thought.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (April 1, 2014, 21:17 GMT)

The ECB and its selectors should be sacked. They belong to the 1880s.

Posted by disco_bob on (April 1, 2014, 21:09 GMT)

Don't worry Cooky, there's a lot more pain to come.

Posted by mirandola on (April 1, 2014, 21:04 GMT)

Cook is a paid professional, and so clearly has limitations on what he can and can't say about the job he's in. I think he dealt pretty well with the muck-rakers of the press who were desperate to make him say something he'd later regret. I have my own ideas about the desperate nonsense that's happened in the England camp over the last few years, but I'd prefer to wait to hear an authoritative statement from inside.

Posted by kensohatter on (April 1, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

Some people are so short sighted. England have been poor for 6 months, just as Aust were poor before that and India before that. Every team will go through peaks and troughs with the top 4 having such a strong state/ province/ county system that they will never truly be in the doldrums. Only teams with small populations like NZ or poor state comps like WI will struggle to produce the calibre of players required to dominate at international level and its the reason why these teams never really achieve a no.1 status (although they do put up good performances from time to time.) A team with players like Cook, Bell, Anderson and Broad as their core will bounce back.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (April 1, 2014, 20:51 GMT)

BobMartin - even if you understand the reasons does that make them right?

To my mind Cookie should foget about it and move on. He will gain no friends by doing his dirty washing in public (especially when that washing has been festering for so long).

Being clever after the event is not being clever at all.

Posted by Kulaputra on (April 1, 2014, 20:44 GMT)

#blamekp is my favourite hashtag for anything that goes wrong including a wrong omelette at home. Now that changes to blame #ECB ?

Posted by Alexk400 on (April 1, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

COOK is useless captain like ganguly was. If odds are in their favour they shine. When odds do not favour them they stink up the place. For me they gave captaincy to cook so early it will mess up rest of his career. For england to be in contention , they really need to find leaders at present there is not a single permanent player who can be considered for captain. They should bring trott and make him captain but i am afriad because he quit in australia fearing Mitchell johnson , he fell out of my favor. He needs to prove he has it in him stand up. Other than that there is no one. England team is mismanaged by its upper management. if you have problem with KP , all you have to do is look at 1996 bulls team. No one in the world can manage Dennis rodman , Phil jackson able to manage different characters to make winning team. That said england team has more problem than just KP , so having KP do not make them winning team , its just make them respectable at best.

Posted by Bagirathan on (April 1, 2014, 20:13 GMT)

KP,Carberry should be back in the team, under Morgan to see English cricket to improve. Otherwise will be worse than Netherlands as seen in the World Cup. With KP in the team we have seen many wins, and without KP the reverse. Without Chris Gayle West Indies suffered and the management brought him back and producing good results. This will be seen for England as soon as KP is brought back.

Posted by nareshgb1 on (April 1, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

"There are a huge number of reasons to be optimistic."

yeah - with Sl and India to tour England, why not?

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

vow what absolute rubbish fronm the captain - you performed poorly and only one gets punsihed and u cant say why. Your team is humilated by third graders and you csant say why dont you play ur best player - its not frustrating its pathetic. be realistic england

Posted by wapuser on (April 1, 2014, 19:48 GMT)

I'm a west indian but its clear to me that england tend to shut down anyone with flair and an outspoken personality..eg Compton & bairstow. He's been broken down as a player since reaching the national set up. Management really need an overhaul for the good of english cricket

Posted by Rally_Windies on (April 1, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

oh, let me get my pop-corn and grab a comfy seat ! This sort of drama is usually reserved for WI, Pak, Sri Lanka...

KP is certainly no big nuisance as Shaid Afridi or Andrew Symonds !

Viv Richards was an utter disrespectful to selectors and coaches and even fans. AND HE STILL MADE CAPTAIN ...

KP should have been 20/20 captain ..

Not Broad...

Posted by mshyder on (April 1, 2014, 19:10 GMT)

It is understandable that Cook is not permitted to speak on the subject for now. But until a clear picture is given by any of the parties concerned speculations about Cook's and Broad's role and the actual reasons behind the decision will continue. In any case it is even more clearer now that it was an awful decision and extremely harmful for English cricket, specially if the basis of the decision was the pressure from Flower, Cook and Broad.

Posted by landl47 on (April 1, 2014, 19:01 GMT)

A couple of things happened this Winter which in all my 50+ years of watching cricket I've not seen before. Swann retired part way through the tour with no prior indication that he was even thinking of quitting and Pietersen was dropped when clearly still one of England's best players.

Things happened behind the scenes on this Ashes tour of which we know nothing. The most interesting thing about the Pietersen situation to me is that when he was at odds with the management in 2012 he was very vocal about it. This time he's said nothing except some meaningless platitudes. Swann has been just as unforthcoming even though he has been very free with information in the past.

Whether these two matters are connected I don't know. What I do know is that there's a heck of a lot going on here which we the public don't know about. All those who are complaining that Pietersen was dropped, don't waste your time. Wait until the full story is revealed- if indeed it ever is.

Posted by Narkovian on (April 1, 2014, 18:56 GMT)

Totally agree with @Bobmartin. Also to add that it is highly likely both parties agreed to say nothing until Pietersen's contract expires. Anyone who speaks out of place on either side could well find themselves in a law court. Such is modern sport ( and indeed life) today... what joy !

Posted by bobmartin on (April 1, 2014, 18:19 GMT)

Maybe all you people who are castigating Cook for not being more forthcoming with respect to Pietersen.. might care to look at it from a his position rather than your won ... Cook is an employee of the ECB and he has been told by his employers that he is not to speak out and divulge what went on behind closed doors until they say so. So what would you expect him to do.. defy his employers ? And all this nonsense about secrecy and not making things public... Whether you like it or not, the ECB is a business.. and like any other business.. it's board make the decisions in what they consider to be the best interests of that business... Do Asda and Tesco discuss their business decisions in public ? Of course not.

Posted by danishsyed88 on (April 1, 2014, 18:07 GMT)

England are back to what they were in the 90s and early 2000s. 7 PLACES UP FOR GRABS??!! What are they thinking??! I can see a point when England are last placed in test rankings :( Don't know why they don't understand how to manage a team

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 18:03 GMT)

'after all when was the last time england went that far in a world tournament?'

Er, in June 2013. That's less than a year ago.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 17:59 GMT)

One single Australian made England implode. Australia might have the makings of a half-decent team but Johnson's not going to be around much longer.

As for some of the other comments on here, some people clearly don't understand what non-disclosure agreements are or that the press asks questions and reports the answers.

Posted by CUPULW on (April 1, 2014, 17:49 GMT)

" the Daily Telegraph has reported that Trevor Bayliss is another candidate. "

if true it would be a come-down from coaching the Sri Lankan team, who went to CWC final.

after all when was the last time england went that far in a world tournament?

Posted by xylo on (April 1, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

I would be willing to bet on ECB not attracting top talent for their head coach position boiling down to the micromanagement of AF. He needs a bunch of yes-men. And they have one ready in Giles. His confidence is surprising following the loss to the Dutch, when he claimed that he is unsure of the effect of this match on his credentials.

Posted by njr1330 on (April 1, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

'It's an exciting time for English cricket....' It certainly is... but not quite in the way he imagined!!

Posted by Hummingbird0 on (April 1, 2014, 17:35 GMT)

Whatever the new team they are going to assemble, it won't be good enough to beat Australia. Might be good enough to strangle Srilankans and Indians in home seaming conditions, which sub-continent teams are always vulnerable.

Those upcoming easy victories might make England team invisible for their fans. But, once Australian game starts, it's going to be reshuffling mode, again. (another new exciting era). After all, they don't have their best batsman, who was pivotal for all their victories. Interestingly, some people even believe that Morgan can replace 'the one who must not be named' but it is going to be a big flop.

Kevin averages 48 in FC, Morgan 34 (more than 10 shot OMG), Moeen Ali 37avg (fake Amla lol), butler 31

This is a disaster team, which is going to laughing stock internationally.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 17:26 GMT)

'it is what it is'-well clearly it isn't because none of us are the wiser. What Cook and the ECB have to understand is that the fans are the biggest stakeholder and we have been classified as 'outside cricket' The arrogance of the ECB has been as disgusting as it is outrageous. KP like it or not was the best batsman in the team and the biggest drawcard. He was dumped because management couldn't manage. And no england team player or manager has ever stood up and spoken frankly as in 'Without doubt KP is a liability to the team and he must go immediately.' No, it's all couched in revolting corporate speak and whispers to the press about whistling in the changeroom. At least KP was bold and forthright not like the management and frankly speaking, Cook

Posted by android_user on (April 1, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

Could almost hear KP laughing after England being humiliated by the Dutch and going down to SA by only 3 runs.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

the cricket world has moved on, Cook has nothing to gain from speaking on the issue now.. he should save his personal opinions for his book and focus on his batting as well as the direction England are now heading

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (April 1, 2014, 17:04 GMT)

What a pathetic response from Cook. Why not admit that you have lost it completely by axing England's BEST player in all formats huh ? Oh yeah, I know. We are a comfy team with a lot of good boys and 'yes' men who will polish the boots of Giles Clarke and Paul Downton to keep our places in this herd of sheep. More humiliation waiting for you guys in the summer.

Posted by shot274 on (April 1, 2014, 17:03 GMT)

Spoilt for choice regarding good men'. Can we have have some good cricketers too?

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 16:53 GMT)

Great to see that the trouble maker KP isn't coming back, I mean Ali Bacher,Jason Gallian, Peter Moore's, Andy Strauss and Alistair Cook can't be wrong,

Posted by zoot364 on (April 1, 2014, 16:51 GMT)

@Mark Long - I understood there was a legal agreement that neither side could discuss the matter for a set period. If that's true the ECB wouldn't be able to say anything until the deadline.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

I'll respect Cook's position on KP (he's probably hamstrung by legal requirements). I can't tell whether I respect the decision until I know the reasons.

As for Ashley Giles, this is a results and entertainment based business, and I've seen little of either to support his candidacy.

Posted by crktttt on (April 1, 2014, 16:47 GMT)

What is truly depressing is that corporate-style-of-speaking has started becoming the norm nowadays. Cook - please don't be the one to be coming out with the 'reasons'. It will destroy whatever respect fans have for you.

Posted by SL_Boy on (April 1, 2014, 16:44 GMT)

If he did not fix matches ... any other reason cant justify. he is the best player at this time England have.

Posted by Harlequin. on (April 1, 2014, 16:39 GMT)


After a winter of horrendous man-management and stupefying selections from the ECB, you want us to 'respect' the decision?!

Hogwash I say!!

Posted by Manxmuppet on (April 1, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

For what it's worth, I think that Cook is a great player and a nice bloke. I don't think that captaincy has done him any favours, either with the tactical elements or the man-management side of things. He clearly has his hands tied over the KP catastrophe and it is the ECB handling of the whole situation that is frustrating the fans.

I'd let Cook get back to opening the batting without any other worries, give the captaincy to someone with a bit more imagination, not let Giles anywhere near the national side and change the ECB personel at the very top.

I still maintain that a winning dressing room, with "disruptive elements" is a far better place to be than one that has total harmony but is getting whooped 5-0 in the Ashes and by associate nations in the WT20. But hey, it's a new era (again)...

Posted by SevereCritic on (April 1, 2014, 16:37 GMT)

People who won't play Test Cricket for England again after the last Ashes -- Swann (retired), Finn, Pietersen, Rankin, Tremlett, Carberry, Trott (possibly never). England is also close to burning out Jimmy Anderson as he looked positively lukewarm down under. I suppose Pietersen is to blame for all the casualties and the overall management disaster. Cook is not leader material - lacks character and definition. He can be a "yes man" for ECB very happily. But he can't take bold decisive action when required on and off the field.

Posted by BiSymonds on (April 1, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

Cook is a good man. Giles is a good man. Prior is a good man.

The only ones saying that they are good men are each other.

As an Aussie, I'm obviously enjoying this association of good men.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

In other words need more time to COOK up the excuse

Posted by siddhartha87 on (April 1, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

it's really shame. What a great squad they had. It deserved to be ended better.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 16:04 GMT)

Given the team's continued freefall AFTER sacking KP, the reasoning had better be damned good.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (April 1, 2014, 16:03 GMT)

Regardless of what u have to say mate , this shows you are an unsuitable English captain . Any good skipper has to be able to work with all his charges . And I certainly hope u and your " group of good men" get exactly what is due to you !! And I was a very big fan of yours way back in under 19's

Posted by geoffboyc on (April 1, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

So, "anybody who scores a lot of runs............will be up for selection". Unless they are named Pietersen presumably?

Posted by cryptq1 on (April 1, 2014, 15:54 GMT)

It's rather obvious, there's no reason or a very pathetic one. If there was a reason we would have been informed a long time ago.

@Martin Atkin - without one piece of evidence of any wrongdoing you make that statement? The mind boggles. On the contrary, it would appear from the statements thus far made by players that were on the Ashes tour that he was blameless!

Posted by manoftheseries on (April 1, 2014, 15:48 GMT)

I hope what he mentioned below is applicable to him as well. lol "That Test side which got us to No. 1, won three Ashes in a row, won't play again - it has broken quicker than any of us imagined. When the side breaks up there are places up for grabs. Any player who scores a lot of runs or take a lot of wickets will be up for selection. "

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (April 1, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

All that will become 'clearer soon' is that sacking KP was a horrendous blunder, as if that weren't already clear enough. The divisions are still running, Broad has openly said he wanted KP in the side for the World Cup and others (Tremlett, Carberry and even Swann) have expressed surprise at KP's axing saying that his conduct through the Ashes and in fact since his re integration has been exemplary. Prior said some stuff but he needs to sweet talk the management because his form doesn't warrant selection for Sussex let alone England,

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

for crying out loud. ECB need to put an end to all this and release ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING that led to KP being dropped. Let people know the facts and make a judgement. If they have good reasons, fans will accept it and move on but this speculation and stuttering and everything will just hurt England cricket in the future rebuild!

Posted by Jonathan_E on (April 1, 2014, 15:41 GMT)

The reason can't be a good one, or they would be able to say it right now.

Posted by   on (April 1, 2014, 15:30 GMT)

It seems to me like KP made it his mission since he was summarily sacked as captain to make life as difficult as possible for his successors whilst toadying up to the junior players as a means of gathering support in the dressing room. It's a sad situation, but I feel the right decision has been taken.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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