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“It was a tough decision”
England captain Alastair Cook has finally broken his silence on why batsman Kevin Pietersen was axed following the national team’s disastrous tour of Australia.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated that they no longer needed Pietersen’s services and subsequently terminated his central contract.
When asked about why Pietersen was no longer seen as an asset to England’s future, Cook told Sky Sports: “I can’t answer that question totally at this moment in time which is incredibly frustrating for me.
“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.
“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 also believes that limited overs coach Ashley Giles is the right candidate to lead England in all three formats.
“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,” Cook said. “He’s a good man as well.
“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.
“It is an important relationship, you do have an input into it. 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 also conceded that he is still surprised England were whitewashed 5-0 in their last Ashes series against Australia.
“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,” he said. “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.”