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January 26, 2014
Alastair Cook's next international match will not be until the English season after he confirmed he would sit out the short one-day series in West Indies.
The move was always on the cards after the demands on Cook during the Ashes tour and also because the West Indies trip comes just before the World Twenty20, in which Cook will not play. Stuart Broad, the T20 captain, is expected to step up and make use of an extended opportunity to work with England's limited-overs coach, Ashley Giles.
Asked on Sky Sports if he would be on the West Indies tour, Cook said: "No I won't be. The Twenty20 guys have got their World Cup in Bangladesh and I think we see it as a great six weeks for them to start building the team.
"They're never together very often and it gives them, and Broady and 'Gilo' time, to really have six weeks together to build for Bangladesh."
Although there are three ODIs in the Caribbean before the three T20s, which Cook could have captained to further expand his skills ahead of the World Cup next year, it has been viewed as the chance to give him a longer break and allow the Twenty20 players some extra match practice even if it is a longer format.
The one-day leg of the tour is now likely to be captained by Broad, who leads the T20 side, although Eoin Morgan would be another option and has been touted as the man to captain the 50-over side in the long term.
However, after voicing doubts over his captaincy future after the defeat in Sydney last week, Cook was more buoyant about his role in Perth and said he was "desperate" to carry on as both the ODI and Test captain despite the debilitating tour of Australia. He is due to have talks with Andy Flower, England's team director, and Paul Downton, the new managing director, about future planning once back in the UK.
Pending any further changes of heart, his first match back in England colours could be the ODI against Scotland on May 9 or the start of the one-day series against Sri Lanka on May 20. England's schedule has been switched for the 2014 season with the Tests not starting until June 12 at Lord's.
"It has been a challenging tour for me. I can't not say that," Cook said. "It's been a real tough tour for me. I am not exhausted, but I'm ready to put the pads away for a couple of weeks or so. I will enjoy seeing my pregnant wife. I'll enjoy seeing a few sheep [on the family farm] for a bit.''
Cook can be expected to be in action for Essex at the start of the English county season, which begins for his team on April 7 with a match against Cambridge MCCU although his first outing may come the following week in the County Championship opener against Derbyshire from April 13. England's Test players, especially those not part of the World T20, are expected to feature heavily at the start of the county season.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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