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Alastair Cook believes that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to sack him as ODI captain and replace him with Eoin Morgan turned out to be a grave mistake.
Cook’s comments come after England were knocked out of the World Cup in the group stages following their humiliating 15-run loss to Bangladesh.
“The selectors made that decision, because they thought it was the best for English cricket,” he told Dubai Eye 103.8 Radio. “Hindsight has probably proved them wrong but now it’s very easy to say that. 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 (heavy defeats at the hands of co-hosts Australia and New Zealand).
“That’s when you need real leadership to help steer you through that. Whether I would have made a difference, I don’t know.
“But I was fully confident we would get out of our group and, from there, you’ve got to win three games in a row – that’s how this World Cup has worked.”
Cook also noted that he did a great job during his tenure as ODI captain, which began in the summer of 2011.
“I’m always going to have a slightly biased view on that,” he added. “I was there for three and a half years trying to do a job. We got to No 1 in the world with a full-strength side and got to the final of the Champions Trophy (losing to India in 2013).
“There were things I can be very proud of. As any captain will tell you, leading your country in a World Cup is a huge honour and one that can never be taken lightly.
“I was very much looking forward to that. 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.”
However, Cook admitted that England have to start rebuilding and regrouping during their upcoming tour of the West Indies.
“We have a repairing job to do,” he said. “We built that momentum a little bit after the Ashes 14 or 15 months ago with a slightly younger side, including the likes of Gary Ballance and Joe Root.
“There was a good feel-good factor about the English game in the middle of August after the Test matches. Since then, it’s been tough going. We’ve got to rebuild again.”