BREAKING – Cook Resigns.

And on our 2nd birthday too! 

I’m on a train at the moment but we’ll be writing something more considered later. 

Until then, fire away. Like our bowlers at Headingley on that Day 4.

UPDATE -Main piece drafted and will be up tonight. TLG may do a follow up tomorrow. Keep the comments coming. 

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117 thoughts on “BREAKING – Cook Resigns.

  1. pktroll (@pktroll) February 6, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Shall we all recall the time and the place the we heard then? Mine is 9:45am at work. Anyone got a more interesting location than mine?

    Like

    • Rooto February 6, 2017 / 9:50 am

      9:48 at home (working, though). Called through to my partner.
      “Who’s he again?” was the reply…

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 9:52 am

        On the 9:35 Mottingham to London Charing Cross. On this because southeastern have been crap again.

        Read on Twitter just outside Lee. Next to my old school. While listening to All Together by Petter, from James Holden’s Balance compilation.

        Like

    • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 9:55 am

      About 9:50, also at work. Sick first appeared in mouth about two minutes later when I happened across this:

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 9:57 am

        He’s vulnerable now. One bad spell for FEC (former England captain) and his “eyes will be gone” or “the hunger isn’t there”. I mean that’s what happened to Ian Bell.

        Like

      • SimonH February 6, 2017 / 9:58 am

        Add this one to the collection:

        “He deserves to be seen as one of our country’s great captains.” (Strauss)

        Like

      • SimonH February 6, 2017 / 10:08 am

        Or this from Agnew:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/38554063

        “Alastair Cook never had it easy. He’s had the toughest ride of all recent England captains”.

        “the year still ended with him being sacked as one-day captain. To this day, he thinks that was the wrong decision”.

        “Cook’s winning percentage of 40.67 is only the fourth best of the six captains to have led England in more than 40 Tests”. (D’Arthez showed when that stat was first used how misleading it is by choosing a cut-off point of 40 Tests).

        “Will Cook be defined by the way in which Pietersen’s international career was ended? The two men will inevitably always be linked, but that would be to ignore the fact that Cook welcomed Pietersen back into the England side when many captains in his position could have quite easily taken the opposite stance”. (So we’re back to it being Cook who wanted him back. Who will that narrative be enlisted to serve next week?)

        “What is unarguable is that the vitriol that Cook faced on social media from certain individuals in the aftermath of the Pietersen affair was nasty, personal and uncalled for”. (Sigh)

        “At the time, I thought he was getting some very rough treatment over the Pietersen issue and I was happy to say so publicly. Maybe because he saw me as an ally, we have always had a very good working relationship during his time as captain”. (Agnew thinks that’s something to boast about!)

        “For Cook, the nature of the end of his tenure as captain very much reflects the type of man he is. There was no chucking it all in at the end of the fifth Test against India, a shambles in Chennai. That’s not his style. Like his batting, he was patient, he weighed it all up and considered his options. He went back to his farm and away from cricket, he no doubt had many conversations with his wife Alice”. (Full house in Cook resignation bingo)

        “He will be incredibly comfortable with what lies ahead. That is likely to be scoring many more runs for England”. (another one for the bingo card).

        This appeared within 30 minutes of the decision being announced by the way…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 10:32 am

        “Unarguable”.

        Shut down the site lads.

        Like

      • hatmallet February 6, 2017 / 3:41 pm

        @SimonH

        I don’t think there’s anything to read into Agnew’s article appearing within 30 minutes. Journalists need to be prepared – he’s probably had that article 95% written since the India tour. Much like newspapers will have mostly-written obituaries for those still alive – and there have been a few occasions where they’ve been prematurely published!

        Agnew was never going to write a hugely negative piece about Cook. I think it’s a fair article – it avoids the hyperbole and doesn’t ignore the negatives.

        Like

      • SimonH February 6, 2017 / 3:50 pm

        Matt, respect your view and yes it could have been worse (as indeed could Bull’s in the Guardian). Whether this “it could have been worse” feeling comes from how low our expectations have sunk in the last couple of years is another matter!

        As for the rapidity of it appearing, yes I’m sure that most journos had something drafted but it still appeared considerably more quickly than anything else I saw.

        Like

    • alecpaton February 6, 2017 / 9:56 am

      Sat on the sofa, watching Countdown on Catch Up tv and shouting the answers to the numbers round.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Northern Light February 6, 2017 / 11:02 am

      10.35am, sitting in my lounge, finally checked why my phone had buzzed a while earlier. It was a Guardian Sports breaking news story.
      Might have to duck out of the next fortnight of eulogies, however. Feeling fairly unwell as it is!

      Liked by 1 person

    • emasl February 6, 2017 / 11:19 am

      drinking tea when a friend tweeted me and checked it out straight away. Popped over to the Guardian where, with a few exceptions BTL, the canonisation was in full flow

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 11:26 am

        Speaking of canonisation, this is from the Guardian’s ATL piece:

        “Appointed in August 2012, Cook has led the team through more Test matches than any other England captain. His record includes Ashes victories at home in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. He also led the one-day side for 69 one-day internationals between 2010 and 2014, another England record.

        The 32-year-old opening batsman is England’s most capped Test captain, has scored more Test centuries than any previous captain and is England’s most prolific Test batsman with 11,057 runs in 140 Tests to date, at an average of 46.45.

        During his five seasons at the helm he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2012 and the ICC World Test Captain in both 2013 and 2016 while his services to the game were last week recognised with a CBE to follow the MBE he was awarded in 2011.”

        Not a *dickybird* about his defeats or problems in the entire article. It could be an ECB press release.

        And that’s why we still need this site.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sri Grins February 7, 2017 / 5:10 am

        @NOC, IC understand that journos like to be polite when a long serving captain quits, but they could have acknowledged the captaincyn issues earlier prior to his leaving so that readers feel that the media is not biased.

        Like

    • Rohan February 6, 2017 / 1:39 pm

      1.37pm at work. Just taught a rubbish lesson with a poorly behaved class and was feeling crap, but saw this on BBC sport and raised my spirits! English cricket should now be able to move on properly, without Cook as captain.

      Like

  2. Rooto February 6, 2017 / 9:48 am

    Hums a happy tune…
    The day outside looks a little brighter.
    You were very quick with this!

    Like

  3. Geoff Boycotts Grandmother February 6, 2017 / 9:58 am

    Is Morgan now being sacked for exercising his free choice to tour Bangladesh or not?

    Director Comma says new captain to be decided before the team goes to West Indies. Except the test team isn’t going to the West Indies. That’s an already named limited overs squad under Morgan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Root is going (he shouldn’t be but that’s another story ) so NatWest and Investec et al need to be lined up. I have mates who work at the latter and they’ll let me know when the zebra is moved!

      Like

      • SimonH February 6, 2017 / 10:14 am

        “Root is going (he shouldn’t be but that’s another story )”.

        It’s becoming obvious that Australia (who play as much as England) are following a rotation policy for away-ODIs. Smith didn’t play in SL; Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Faulkner didn’t play in SA (some were injured but not all); Warner and Smith are missing the NZ ODIs.

        The ECB continue with a “play them into the ground” policy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) February 6, 2017 / 10:30 am

        Don’t get me started Simon, neither him Stokes or Woakes should anywhere near that tour. Strauss is a perfect alternative dartboard for me and if anything, I have far more antipathy towards him and his role than I’ve had with Cook for sometime as I’ve just shrugged my shoulders with his captaincy. I know he’s been crap but he’s not been in the ECB/media firing line until recently.

        For what it is worth I do actually think we might see a bit of a revival of Cook the batsman, because he’s been very ordinary overall in the last 4 years. England need him to be better than ordinary v South Africa and Australia to be competitive.

        Like

      • Zephirine February 6, 2017 / 4:52 pm

        Somehow Captain Cook and the Investec Zebra are inextricably linked in my mind….

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 4:53 pm

          Been told there is more than one zebra. I’m crestfallen.

          Like

  4. "IronBalls" McGinty February 6, 2017 / 9:59 am

    9.52 when I got in from taking the dog out.
    Let the deitification begin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emasl February 6, 2017 / 11:20 am

      I used the word canonisation above. Not sure I have spelled it right thought..

      Like

  5. "IronBalls" McGinty February 6, 2017 / 10:04 am

    Just waiting now for all the vomit inducing, pre written, and tear stained eulogies from the embedded ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 10:05 am

      Aggers is off and running, but he’s always been on his side (you are allowed to be). Many to follow.

      Like

    • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 10:09 am

      Oh don’t. According to Simon H. Strauss already calling him greatest captain! Blimey. Yawns and goes back to bed.

      Like

  6. simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 10:04 am

    At last! Not before time. Should have gone a long time ago. What now my cricketing friends?

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 10:06 am

      Another subject taken away. Might get like hard work on here.

      Like

      • "IronBalls" McGinty February 6, 2017 / 10:20 am

        I don’t think so dmitri, there’s plenty of mileage to come methinks.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 10:07 am

    Oh good lord please…

    Like

      • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 10:18 am

        Yawning again and thinking about returning to my nice cosy bed – getting over this damn illness. Still must say news has bucked me up no end.

        Like

    • Ian February 6, 2017 / 10:12 am

      Poor bloke. I hope he gets over his amnesia.

      Liked by 3 people

      • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 10:17 am

        Oh good one. We’re all having a giggle at your comment.

        Like

    • alecpaton February 6, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      Shit! Cook captained in 2005? Bloody hell, how did I forget that one?

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Andy February 6, 2017 / 10:13 am

    I should have guessed that you would have gotten a topic up already!

    I sincerely hope that Cook does regain some of his pre-captaincy form. On his day he can be a great test cricketer and an excellent opener.

    However his captaincy can best be described as ‘limp dick’ and the effect it, the press corps smoozing and general fawning have had on us fans will be felt for along time.

    It has cumulated in making us more critical of what we hear, and not just towing the party line.

    It has helped us to seek out LCL, LG and S (do you even have a nickname Sean?) who put into words what I and presumably many others have been feeling. (and do it much more eloquently than I ever could).

    I cannot get onto statsguru from work but does anyone know what his stats are pre captain vs captain?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Topshelf February 6, 2017 / 1:04 pm

        If you take the last 59 tests he played before becoming permanent captain (not including stand-in v Bangladesh), there is a small drop-off in form:

        Average fell from 49.13 to 46.37 as captain, scored 13 tons and 21 fifties, as against 12 and 24 as skipper.

        You could argue his captaincy stats are inflated by the 342 runs at 114, inc 2 tons, he scored as stand-in for Strauss against Bangladesh. Take them out and his permanent captaincy stats are average of 44.57, with 10 tons and 24 fifties in 57 tests.

        That puts him marginally above Gatting and Gower, but miles behind Gooch, Hammond, May and Dexter. Quite a lot better than Hussain and Vaughan though.

        In summary, he’s been a solidly above average batsman when skipper, and staunchly mediocre as a captain!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. AB February 6, 2017 / 10:16 am

    Should Root be in the T20 side?

    If we have the same captain for ODIs and Tests, does that mean our ODI team will go back to playing ODIs as if they are short test matches?

    Like

  10. simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 10:16 am

    Aggers still can’t distinguish fact from fiction can he. Cook did not welcome Pietersen back into the fold, as we all know. Cook didn’t win 2 Ashes series – that was the players. His captaincy has been appalling. His chit chat after the games has been nauseating. Games lost and Cook blames the players; Games won and Cook preens his feathers. Unlike the media’s kicking post, Morgan, who always blames himself for losses and applauds players for wins. I must be blind and stupid to think Cook was a useless captain.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Adam H February 6, 2017 / 10:17 am

    A bit tinfoil hat-y but interesting timing to announce this. The media is preoccupied with Tom Brady’s miraculous comeback victory and Donald Trump’s presidency. Are they trying to bury the Cook news?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lionel joseph February 6, 2017 / 10:20 am

    Unless I’m mistaken, absolutely nothing, not even a sniff, leaked before the announcement.

    That’s the most interesting bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. BobW February 6, 2017 / 10:24 am

    I’m following Piers Morgan timeline on Twitter. It’s going to kick off when he wakes up and finds out Cook has resigned. I’ve got my seat, the popcorn and I can’t wait…
    By the way it was 10am for me, sat in my office at home. In my PJ’s, my wife hovering in the back ground.

    Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 11:21 am

        “Clown” really is being kind.

        Like

      • Sherwick February 6, 2017 / 3:54 pm

        It’s not that kind to clowns…

        Like

  14. BobW February 6, 2017 / 10:27 am

    SimonH, I love your comment about Aggers having the whole article written within 30mins of the retirement announcement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lionel joseph February 6, 2017 / 10:37 am

      I saw that too. May as well have just typed “I am a flaming dickhead”.

      Like

      • hatmallet February 6, 2017 / 3:47 pm

        The Guardian have described it as “mischievous” 🙂

        Like

  15. paul ewart February 6, 2017 / 10:51 am

    Await the panegyrics…

    Like

      • paul ewart February 7, 2017 / 6:02 am

        Indeed, I lurk, you know, I lurk. Greetings on this fine day. Sadly, I, like many, lost interest in England following the Comma debacle.

        Like

    • quebecer February 7, 2017 / 4:41 am

      Nope. I’ve clicked on it twice now, scrolled past the article, then scrolled past the comments as well. Impossible.

      Like

  16. amit garg February 6, 2017 / 11:14 am

    And so, it has happened. Finally.

    I suppose the next target is the Sachin’s record is the next logical target but unless he picks up his average over the next few years, that is a target that will remain far.
    He has been averaging around low 40s for a while now and that means the 4900 runs he needs to get there will still take him a while.

    England have another 12 odd test matches in the next 12 months and with no other format available to him, can he retain his match fitness? There will be some tough questions for the selectors, especially if Hameed and Jennings start to establish themselves.

    Aggers is partially right on Cook getting a hard time as a captain. He did.
    Except, that it wasn’t from the friends at MSM. That has a lot to do with the people “outside cricket” that have had to turn activists to ensure that the real stakeholders of the game have a voice that is heard and drown in the BS that one has read in the MSM for a few years now.

    Did Cook cop a fair bit? Sure he did.
    Did he deserve much of it? You bet he did!

    If people will remember him for his role in the KPgate, then he did bring it upon himself. Not just KP, but even for Bell, who surely deserved better treatment and support as a senior pro. Cook’s problems are largely manifested in his inability to manage any of the senior players in the team. He couldn’t control Jimmy, Broad, Swann and certainly doesn’t seem to have done enough to support Panesar or Bell.

    Aggers may also be right that Cook has improved. I can’t be certain though, as the bar was set too low for any improvement to be noticeable because Cook is still not a skipper of international class. He should’ve seen how Kiwis placed fields yesterday against the aussies.

    Tactics, Strategy, Communication – all have been his weak spots for as long as he’s been in the driving seat. He may be a nice bloke, but he wasn’t exactly fit to lead this team – and therein lies the issue for most fans. He has been hailed as one of the greatest captains when his real skills have been below par.

    I wish him luck as a batsman – England could still use him as a batsman but I will not be surprised if his presence in the team soon turns toxic.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Oscar Da Bosca February 6, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Oh god, just received the spin entitled ‘Captaincy was duty not art for Alistair Cook, English cricket’s finest servant’

    That’s it, media lockdown mode in place for a week (already partially enabled as Arsenal have been losing badly 🙂 ) – I can’t take the lies, damn lies and the interesting use of statistics.

    The hagiography is beginning.

    I have always admired him as a no-nonsense opener with a rigid, defined approach that has served him well (form permitting), but his captaincy was less than ordinary mostly, and extra-ordinarily bad on so many occasions, that when it was ordinary he received paeans from the press for doing his job.

    Cook the man in my opinion has been exposed recently as not the hero our MSM would have us believe, but a petty, vindictive man who has never hesitated to moan about his lot or put the boot into others, a classic self-serving ECB employee who I don’t doubt will soon be the factotum to the ‘Director’ cricket in a few years time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Zephirine February 6, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      The Spin isn’t too bad actually, there’s quite a lot of criticism between the lines if you look. I’ve only read it quickly but it seemed pretty balanced.

      The fact that Cook’s father gave him The Art of Captaincy when he was a kid and he didn’t read it till 10 years later says it all, for me. That lack of curiosity, the deliberate narrowing of his field of vision. (Apart from anything else, how can you not read a book when your dad gave it to you as a present?)

      Amit’s right, his lack of ability/willingness to manage the senior players has been a key factor. It’s always seemed to me that in many ways the story of the Cook captaincy has been the story of Jimmy Anderson rather than the more notorious story of KP.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Oscar Da Bosca February 6, 2017 / 1:20 pm

        Hi Zeph, I admit I only read the headline and then groaned and got on with work. I will read it properly later.

        ODB

        Like

    • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Heck. No wonder he wasn’t very good at captaincy.

      Like

  18. Tom February 6, 2017 / 11:44 am

    I’m surprised no-one has said this yet.

    About fecking time.

    Tom

    Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 11:57 am

        I’m waiting for clive….

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 12:03 pm

          Liked by 1 person

      • Tom February 6, 2017 / 11:58 am

        You have to forgive me, it’s 2am here and I’m not at my sharpest. Mark who?

        I was also thinking of the the last time an England captain in living memory was given so much leeway about continuing or resigning after several disastrous series. I can’t think of one.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tom February 6, 2017 / 12:14 pm

        Thanks for the clarification!

        As for the Trump stuff, well, most of you get to watch it for free. I have to live with it. But I think it’s a little too off-topic for this blog. 😉

        Like

    • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 1:55 pm

      I did say that Tom but not in such colourful language.

      Like

  19. SimonH February 6, 2017 / 11:50 am

    “England cricket’s finest servant”.

    Bull.

    Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 11:55 am

      It’s more balanced than I expected, on the whole.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 12:20 pm

        You can almost see the tears in Newman’s piece. But even he can’t call Cook “tactically great”.

        Oh. We are the “pro-Pietersen Brigade”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol February 6, 2017 / 12:39 pm

        “There is no ego about Cook”, says Newman.

        One of my favourites, that.

        Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH February 6, 2017 / 12:58 pm

        “And his legacy should be the foundations of another outstanding England team that will go on to become the best in the world again over the next year or two”.

        Anyone seriously think England are going to top the rankings in the next two years? From 4th, 19 points behind India?

        Liked by 2 people

      • amit garg February 6, 2017 / 2:52 pm

        It really is. pleasantly so. Credit to Andy.

        Booth on the other hand, lost me the moment he mentioned integrity and cook in the same sentence. I just can’t cope up with the “man of integrity” etc. when the real measure of his career as a skipper should involve more statistics and tactical nous. I wish these guys stayed away from such emotional statements.

        Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty February 6, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      Faithful old retainer, more like!

      Like

  20. jennyah46 February 6, 2017 / 11:51 am

    Aggers is quite right. You are a parcel of rogues. If there is a god he will punish you for this. So there.

    Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty February 6, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      He did…he gave us Cook’s craptaincy for four long years, and has now decided we’ve suffered enough? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. SimonH February 6, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    The descent of Gower into one of the chief cultists has been a sad sight:

    http://www.skysports.com/cricket/news/12173/10758475/alastair-cook-had-immense-respect-in-the-england-dressing-room-says-david-gower

    Just to pick up on one claim:

    “”A team that is working well together, a captain will always encourage players in that team to come forward and speak, it’s a collaborative effort; it’s not just one man making decisions on his own.”

    Because Hameed said they should go for one DRS and Cook did? That’s the foundation on which this claim seems to be built. On the other side, we have the info that Cook selected the team in India, imposed the blockathon tactic on players for whom it was clearly unsuited and gave precious DRS reviews in the 3rd and 4th Tests to his mate when YJB could clearly be seen saying he didn’t think there was an edge.

    Did everyone else think it was a tactical masterstroke to bowl Rashid for 28 consecutive overs in the 4th Test?

    Liked by 4 people

    • SimonH February 6, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      By the way, that page has links to the views of Atherton, Hussain and an overview of his captaincy by Colvile.

      Like

  22. MM February 6, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    All that respect in the dressing room. Just imagine how much more there would’ve been if he’d actually been any good at captaining.

    Like

    • Zephirine February 6, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      🙂

      Like

  23. ianrsa February 6, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    The idolising of Cook, his pettiness and vindictiveness, some of the reasons I stopped following cricket. Along with the Pietersen debacle and the India, Australia and England power grab a perfect storm of squalid circumstance that ruined cricket for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Benny February 6, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Always thought Cook was captain because they couldn’t think of anyone else. Never rated him.

    I’m pleased to see that names like Hutton and May are being mentioned. For me, these are legends beyond comparison with Cook and you can throw in Close, whose captaincy was shoddily cut short.

    My cricket watching only goes back to Peter May. However, Nasser has over 140 years of watching cricket – “the toughest cricketer England have ever produced” – yes, ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Rohan February 6, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    Yes, Yes, YES YES YES! It was long overdue, the exit of Cook that is. I wish no ill of Cook, but boy, he should have gone long ago and the fact he didnt was purely selfish, a label which was thrown at KP by Downton et al and stuck. Yet Cook, well it always seemed to slide off if you catch my drift, glad he has gone! Hurrah……..lets hope we do now see him as a dependable opener for England for a good few years….

    Like

  26. Boz February 6, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Being totally unaware that cricket existed nevermind played anymore I am at a quandry as to who this chap Cook is – can anyone help?

    Like

    • Rooto February 6, 2017 / 2:58 pm

      Yesterday’s England captain.
      Today’s newspapers
      Tomorrow’s Anti-Sun Tzu.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Geoff Boycotts Grandmother February 6, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    “Anyone seriously think England are going to top the rankings in the next two years? From 4th, 19 points behind India?”

    With a decent captain I believe this is possible with the talent available to England. England aren’t without flaws but neither are the other teams. Who wouldn’t want the all-round talents of Stokes, Woakes and Bairstow?

    Like

    • amit garg February 6, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      India have 5 home tests lined up – if they convincingly beat Bangladesh and Australia, it could certainly be a tough ask for others to catch up. England play South Africa and WI at home before an away ashes. While WI are likely to be a troublesome opponent, tripping against a potent SA attack is surely possible (I hope Steyn is fit and firing). Aussies at home are a tough one to crack, esp as Jimmy is rendered useless and no one on show in India (briefly, apart from broad) really looked like a threat. England go on to lose some marquee series, and people will be rooting for new blood.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. SimonH February 6, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Lawrence Booth’s verdict:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4196114/Alastair-Cook-s-highs-England-captain-rank-best.html

    I don’t buy this even-tempered claim – it seems like the same claim that HRH is such a person, it’s true for those who operate within the boundaries of expected deference but step outside those and a very different picture emerges.

    Perhaps Helen Mirren could play him in the forthcoming movie?

    Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather February 6, 2017 / 4:00 pm

        Damn… perhaps as the case with Mark?
        There is so much b/s going on…a joyous day, a pretentious lark
        I don’t know what to write, truth dark or playful light?
        Perhaps in reality it’s that now I no longer give a sh!t
        He wasn’t sacked when he should have been, MSM so complicit
        …and the Mood Hoover remains, Comma, slylent, gains…

        Liked by 2 people

  29. oreston February 6, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    To misquote Churchill’s VE Day address:
    “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. The ECB with all its treachery and greed, remains unsubdued.”
    “We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance those who are(through no fault of their own) outside cricket.”

    Liked by 3 people

  30. SimonH February 6, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Lord’s plumbed straight into Newman once again:

    I’d have no problem with Buttler (or Stokes) as T20I captain – but ODI captain as well?….

    Like

    • Andy February 6, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      I do like the “down the line” qualifier!

      Now’t like saying that Morgans card is marked

      Like

  31. Mark February 6, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    And so it ends……….In exactly the way it was always going to end, with him walking out. And on the eve of another Ashes too. The so called spine of steel walking out. But it was always going to end like this, because they were never going to sack him. (At least not publicly.) In effect, he has been a human shield covering the backsides of the higher ups. They couldn’t sack him because if they did, they would reveal their own incompetence. So even after a crushing 4-0 defeat they were saying….” It’s up to you Alasdair, whatever you choose Alasdair….” What a croc.

    I’m somewhat puzzled as to why some on here are saying where they were when they heard the news. Why? You only do that with people of substance, People of importance. Cook is neither of those things. He was nothing more than a ceremonial captain. A pretty cloths horse to hang his freshly pressed blazer, and stand next to the sponsors logo. I was thinking back over the last 4 years, and I can’t think of a single test match when his captaincy made any difference for the better. I can think of plenty where he made it worse. The truth is, England could have been captained by Ian Bell, Jimmy Anderson, The big Cheese, and the results would not have been any worse. As it happens, they would have been better, because we would likely have beaten Sri Lanka and the WI, and might have even beaten Pakistan at home and Bangladesh. But that was of no importance to the higher ups. Results didn’t matter in the Cook era. And that is his legacy. RESULTS DIDNT MATTER!

    Cooks captaincy was the epitome of the English establishment. (It’s not what you know, but who you know) If Cooks captaincy was a stick of Blackpool Rock, and you cut it in half…… it would have had the word ‘FAKE’ running all they way through it. A fake captain, for a fake sporting body, covered by a fake sporting media. Cooks period as captain, at a time of some very average test sides was nothing more than a shit stain. Once we turn the page, it will thankfully be quickly forgotten.

    Liked by 4 people

    • thebogfather February 6, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      ‘Hugs Mark’ for saying it all, only Dmitri will surpass, as is it is call, to give us pure truth and venom, with complete, long run, class

      Liked by 1 person

    • RufusSG February 6, 2017 / 4:55 pm

      Kinder than I was expecting. 😉

      Like

    • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 6:42 pm

      Brilliant Mark. Don’t put it on The Full Toss though. A certain “William” is on there being very offensive. I think myself and Emasi have met him on The Guardian/DT. Not nice. So glad to come on here. Thanks me Lord.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. hatmallet February 6, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    I’m pleasantly surprised by most of the opinion articles out there. I was expecting it to be a bit more nauseating. Newman’s aside, people seem unafraid to point out the poor results and various historical and current problems. I think damning with faint praise is the best we can hope for, we’re simply not going to get a ‘Cook was a crap captain’ article.

    Copied and pasted what I wrote on the Guardian below. I’m not generally one to go on the offensive (though I can rarely resist replying to numpties making silly claims about Pietersen) so my tone will differ to some of you! 😀 After 2013-14 I still find it difficult to warm to Cook as a captain, batsman or person but I want to try and give him a fair hearing.

    ~~~

    The right decision. It’s been clear for a while that he didn’t completely want to stay on, but for whatever reason he was dallying – which only highlighted the point.

    As others have stated, Cook the batsman and Cook the captain are two different entities.

    As a batsman, he’s obviously our record run scorer, record century scorer, most Tests played, etc. Whilst I have my doubts that he can surpass Tendulkar (his form has been patchy for a number of years, and it can’t be presumed that he will maintain the necessary hunger into his late 30s), he can still score a few thousand more runs for England as opener (or at #3 as some have suggested). He’s very much needed as a batsman.

    As captain, it’s such a mixed bag. He was never a natural tactician or orator. His strength was leading by example – as he did during a magnificent series win in India – and his calmness around the players who clearly respect him. In addition to India, there was a series win in South Africa and twice winning the Ashes at home. That can’t be ignored.

    Against that, there were some very low lows. After the 2013-14 Ashes, he was incredibly fortunate to keep his position. You shouldn’t lose 5-0 and that badly and keep your job. I don’t say that to suggest it was all Cook’s fault – it wasn’t, there were a lot of issues such as scheduling, selection, coaching, leadership, tactics, player mental health, etc. But instead it was all pinned on one player, mentioning no names, and Cook’s employers turned it into a bizarre good-vs-evil PR battle. Although Cook didn’t help himself at times, this was for the best part out of his control; ECB did him no favours at all. For a while, Cook was more important than the team. It was, to be frank, embarrassing. That’s not to say he deserved all the criticism that came his way – there was plenty of mud slung by both sides of the argument – though for the most part he retained the support of the media.

    Thankfully we did turn that corner, we started winning again, he started scoring some runs again, albeit not at the same level as his 2011-12 peak (that was always a tough ask), and he has improved as captain. That started when he became less defensive about his captaincy and started seeing what others were doing. Since then, he’s helped build the core of a promising team, though there are still significant holes remaining and as such we’re inconsistent.

    So as I said, a mixed bag. I don’t think you can just point out good without the bad. Likewise, his captaincy shouldn’t be defined by 2013-14. I hope I’m not being unfair when I suggest that when he retires, he’ll be remembered as a great England batsman who also captained the team, rather than a great England captain – but that’s still a damn good thing to be remembered as.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. d'Arthez February 6, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    So, it finally happened, I am going slightly mad …

    The real question is of course, how someone who has proven to be as incompetent has remained in the job for so long (Headingley Day 4 against Sri Lanka, Headingley Day 4 against New Zealand, the whole of the Indian tour (2016), the difficult winter, not to mention Lord’s against India); the only away series won were against the geriatric unit of India in 2012 (I had been arguing then for more than a year that half the team was way past their best, so this is not just hindsight), and against South Africa, who were merely a full frontline pace attack down, and had to cope with the idiotic selections as well (3 different wicketkeepers in a four-Test series, is hardly the stuff of selectors who know what they’re doing; I have to thank a certain county for making certain that Vilas won’t be selected by South Africa ever again), as well as coming off a tour in which the wickets were clearly doctored to suit the home team.

    With the resources available to England, they have underperformed. Cook’s W/L (from 2012 to now) ratio (22 wins, 22 losses, 13 draws) is among the worst for an England captain barring Gower, Gooch, and Atherton (and some older captains); Gower, Gooch and Atherton at least had the excuse of the rest of their teams not being great, as well as having to face some of the toughest teams out there in the history of Test cricket.

    Vaughan had 26 wins to 11 losses, while Strauss comes in with 24 wins to 11 losses. Even Nasser Hussain, who did not start with much, had 17 wins to 15 losses. So if they would bother to publish how Cook did, compared to his predecessors, we’d have to go back all the way to Atherton for a long-serving England captain who did worse statistically speaking. And I am sorry, but facing Jason Holder or Shannon Gabriel is a far more pleasant thing to do than to face Malcolm Marshall or Curtly Ambrose; international cricket is in terms of competition and quality, weaker than it was 2 decades ago. So given the resources Atherton had available to him, he certainly did not do as badly as is often assumed.

    As a batsman, Cook has hardly ever overcome a worldclass attack. Very good at milking average attacks, not so much against world class attacks (Atherton faced world class attacks roughly every other innings, in Cook’s case once every 20 innings – if we define world class attacks as having to face at least 2 bowlers with sub-25 averages; and even there Cook is helped by Jadeja’s home form, since on the road Jadeja averages nearly 50 with the ball – and yes, Cook had the sixth highest batting average of an anyone who opened in the India series of 2016).

    But, since Kevin Pietersen is a non-story now, it is suddenly completely acceptable to be obsessed with personal milestones, self-aggrandizement (“I won in India”), and the like.
    We will see how things go, but if South Africa and Australia get their bowling act together, the end can come rather swiftly for Cook. And with Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Rabada, potentially visiting this summer, and Hazelwood, Starc, AN Other (there are several candidates), waiting for England in 10 months time, that is not completely out of the question – Australia are very hard to beat at home, despite their consistent stuff-ups against South Africa.

    But of course, Cook was a mere pawn in the power game played by the chief architects of the ruination of the international game, at least from the ECB side. As such, his captaincy, cannot be viewed in isolation from the reigns of Downton, Strauss, and the absolute collapse of English MSM cricket writing – which is far more spectacular and saddening than anything we have seen on the field in our lifetimes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pktroll (@pktroll) February 6, 2017 / 8:06 pm

      Lovely work there. I did sort of believe that Cook might be a bit more of a free spirit without the captaincy and believed that he was a bit of a sitting duck as captain against those 2 attacks. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was done post this winter but I feel that he could be a little bit more successful with an uncluttered mind.

      PS Mark, my comment about “where were you when you heard” was ironic and I’m certainly not mourning his resignation as neither are everyone else who has commented.

      Like

      • Mark February 6, 2017 / 9:22 pm

        PKTROLL, I’m not criticising in any way. I was just a little non plussed that’s all. I wouldn’t have mentioned it but you are not the only one who was talking about where they were when the news came through.

        Quite frankly it’s a non event for me. He should have been sacked 3 years ago.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus February 6, 2017 / 9:54 pm

          There may have been some piss-taking involved, Mark. It’s also, in my view, not a non-event at all. It’s been a turbulent time, let he’s supposedly the steady vessel through stormy seas. But why? We think we know.

          Like

    • BoredInAustria February 6, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Great post

      Like

    • mdpayne87 February 6, 2017 / 10:31 pm

      Some excellent #CookMaths there. Good work.

      Like

  34. Cricketjon February 6, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    Not a mention of the 95 at Southampton. Remarkable the extent to how much that can disappoint regardless of which side of the fence you are on?

    Upstairs in the spare bedroom reviewing pornography. Sums it up really.

    Like

  35. man in a barrel February 6, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    For me, the key question is would I have enjoyed playing under Cook the skipper? The way he blamed his team for defeats ; the way he kept saying how tough it is when your bowlers don’t bowl to the field. Granted, it is easier if the bowlers do bowl to the field but there was never a sign that he tried to coax his bowlers, buoy them up, support them. To be fair, this was also true of Nasser most of the time – he was not a good captain of bowlers. The Essex school of captaincy, perhaps. Gooch used to pick Pringle rather than someone who might take a wicket. I imagine that Vaughan or even Athers might have done better with Kerrigan, Moeen, Rachid than Cook with a touch of sympathy and support. However, none of them would have opened that day with Ansari nor bowled Rachid for 28 overs off the reel. Either Cook was not remembering the plan or the plan was crap. In time, I suspect the truth will emerge that Anderson was the onfield captain. The bowlers did reasonably well in UAE against Pakistan, so why did they not use the same sort of plans on similar wickets in India? Perhaps Cookie will fess up one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • simplyshirah February 6, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      Oh such a good one M I A B. That’s is, exactly.

      Like

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