London - Australia great Shane Warne has launched a fresh attack on Alastair
Cook's leadership abilities, saying he should either quit the England
captaincy or take a break from all cricket.
Warne said Cook was
responsible for the "worst day" of international captaincy he'd ever
seen during the course of England's 100-run second Test defeat by Sri
Lanka at Headingley earlier this week.
"There are three ways to go
with Alastair 'Cooked' Cook," Warne wrote in his column in Friday's
edition of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
their head in the sand and just allows things to keep going as is and
hope he finds form with the bat and by a miracle discovers some tactical
brains from somewhere. Two: he steps down from the captaincy to
concentrate on his batting. Three: the most radical of all, he has a
complete break away from the game.
"Lots of people, including me, think it is time for him to step down as captain."
is now more than a year since Cook scored the last of his England
record 25 hundreds, a sequence that includes leading the team in their
5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia.
"He does not know what to do and because he is in a rut with his form it makes life a lot worse," Warne said.
defeat at Headingley on Tuesday gave Sri Lanka a 1-0 win in the
two-Test series after the tourists clung on for a draw at Lord's.
match slipped from the hosts' grasp on the fourth day when a superb
Test-best 160 by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was followed by an
England collapse to 57 for five.
England's last-wicket pair of
century-maker Moeen Ali and James Anderson took the match to the
penultimate ball before Sri Lanka sealed victory.
Mathews's key eighth-wicket stand with Rangana Herath on Monday, England
seemed more interested in getting the latter on strike than dismissing
the Sri Lanka skipper.
And Warne said: "On Monday at
Headingley I witnessed the worst day of captaincy I have ever seen at
international level in almost 25 years in the game.
horrific, and I am not the only one singing that tune," added Warne,
whose tally of 708 Test wickets is the second-highest of all-time.
just does not get it. Everyone watching could see the game needed a
change of pace; bowl the spinner or make the seamers try and actually
get Angelo Mathews out. You just cannot bowl the same stuff over after
over like he did -- good captains try things and are proactive, not
Prior to the second Test, 29-year-old opening batsman
Cook said "something needs to be done" about the constant criticism he'd
received in three years as England captain from leg-spin legend Warne.
Warne, insisted his comments weren't motivated by personal spite or a
desire to destabilise England, Australia's oldest cricket rivals.
column is not a personal attack and never has been, Alastair. Mate, you
need to improve tactically or England need someone else in the job.
I am not the only one saying it. Please speak to (former England
captains) Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussain and other successful captains
who were tough, ruthless and got it.
"Also, if I was an Aussie
cheerleader, as the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) thinks I am, I
would not be criticising Cook. I would be saying keep him in the job
because that would be the best thing for Australia during the Ashes next
"I have always been open to talking to Alastair, like I
always have with any other player from any country, if they wanted a
chat over a beer."
Cook is now set to lead England into a five-Test series against India starting at Nottingham's Trent Bridge on July 9.