Cricket

KP calls for Cook to quit

2014-07-26 17:08
Alastair Cook (AFP)

London - Kevin Pietersen has become the latest former England skipper to urge Alastair Cook to quit the captaincy, saying he was only still in the job because it would be "yet another PR disaster" for the England and Wales Cricket Board to sack him now.

Cook has been faced repeated calls to resign the captaincy from the likes of Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain during a run that has seen England go 10 Tests without a win.

Meanwhile Cook's form with the bat has also declined.

It is now 27 innings since he scored the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds, and the left-handed opener's last nine Test innings have yielded just 129 runs.

Pietersen, despite being England's all-time leading run scorer and their top-scorer during their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, was the only player to be axed by England after their return home from 'Down Under' in February.

At the time, the ECB cited the need to support Cook's captaincy as a reason for ditching Pietersen.

And the South Africa-born batsman said a fear of being seen to go back on that decision was the key reason why Cook was still captain.

"At the moment only politics are keeping Cook in a job because the England and Wales Cricket Board backed him so much that it would be yet another PR disaster if it sacked him now," Pietersen wrote in his Daily Telegraph column published Saturday.

"But the ECB needs his runs back more than anything else so a big decision has to be made. Forget the bad headlines for once," said Pietersen ahead of Sunday's third Test between England and India in Southampton, where Cook's men will try to level the five-match contest at 1-1 after Monday's 95-run defeat in the second Test at Lord's.

"He (Cook) should do what is right for England and resign the captaincy. He has shown he does not have the tactical brain to lead the side," said Pietersen of the 29-year-old Essex batsman.

"England badly miss Cook the opening batsman scoring 150 to set games up at the top of the order and, relieved of the captaincy, I don't think it is too late for him to rediscover this form."

Pietersen urged Cook to seek advice from one of the many former players now working as a television pundit.

"Cook needs people with experience of international cricket around him, which (England coaching team) Peter Moores and Paul Farbrace lack.

"Look at Marvan Atapattu working with Sri Lanka, Rahul Dravid with India, Shane Warne with Australia.

How many ex-international players have England had recently working with them? None. There is so much knowledge in English cricket going to waste.

"There are so many great cricket brains in the Sky studios. Put that radio in your ear, listen to them on the balcony or in the dressing room and Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Warne or whoever could be saying something you didn't know and could implement in the game."

Read more on:    alastair cook  |  kevin pietersen  |  cricket
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