Alastair Cook Was Right In Stepping Down As Skipper: Andrew Strauss
On Monday, Alastair Cook resigned as the captain of England team after serving them in 59 matches, most by any player in the country’s Test history. Talking about his decision to move aside after suffering an embarrassing 4-0 loss against India, Andrew Strauss, ECB’s director of cricket, said Cook knew it was his time to step down.
Speaking to Sky Sports at the Lord’s on the day when Cook quit captaincy, Strauss said he wasn’t in the right position to ask him (Cook) to pursue captaincy, as he once has been in that situation himself. Having said that, Strauss added a player knows deep down that will he carry on or is he ready to make way for someone else.
Praising his former opening partner for the manner in which he allowed the dust to settle after India tour and thus took the time to take a call on his decision, Strauss said he did the right thing and that he understands and supports his decision.
“This wasn’t one of those situations when it was right for me to persuade him to carry on. I’ve been there myself. You either know if you have got it in you to carry on, or, deep down, you know it’s time to step aside. He did it the right way. He didn’t jump to conclusions, he allowed the dust to settle after the India tour, he took some time to speak to the people closest to him, whom he trusted. I support and understand that decision.”
Strauss said, ever since the Indian tour ended Cook’s captaincy was under the knife and given the nasty response he received from the fans, he surely needed someone to talk his heart out too. Strauss admitted, ‘When the India tour finished, Alastair said to everyone that he’d sit down with me and talk things through, both the learning from the India tour and what the England team could do to get better, but also his own position.’
Explaining Cook’s point of view on a relatively expected decision he took, Strauss said during the conversation they both came to a point where his drive and determination to lead the country for another 12 months was being discussed, and perhaps that was when he considered stepping aside as the skipper.
“We met up in January and I was interested to see how he had fared in India. I know how draining the England captaincy can be, especially on a long tour away from home when you are on the wrong end of the result. So we had a conversation around that, and it was pretty clear that Alastair knew how much drive, determination and energy was going to be required of the England captain in the next 12 months or so.”
Despite the speculation of Joe Root being handed over the baton now, Strauss said the decision is crucial for England’s cricket and that it will be out within a fortnight. ‘There is a process to go through. It would have been entirely wrong for me to have spoken to other players about the captaincy before Alastair stepped down, and especially while two important white-ball series were going on in India.’
“Now’s the chance for myself and selectors, and the coach, to have conversations amongst ourselves and some players in the England environment, to get an understanding of who the right person is, what their philosophy is, and how they intent to take the team forward, so that when we come to announce the new captain, we are sure he’s the right man.”
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