ECB Managing Director Paul Downton has just spoken to the press about Alastair Cook in the lead up to the World Cup in Australia.
I’ve decided to provide commentary on his remarks.
Mainly because it is amateur rubbish.
“Alastair is having a terrible time at the moment and no-one is more frustrated about that than him”
We start off with a ‘thank you Captain Obvious’ moment. Well, at least about the ‘terrible time’ bit. The assumption that ‘no-one is more frustrated’ than Cook gives total disregard to the millions ‘outside cricket’ who pay their Sky subscriptions and go to English matches to watch England play.
Mr Downton, I would suggest that these people are, in fact, more frustrated than Cook. Not frustrated because Cook is out of form. That happens to everyone. But frustrated at the fact that your lack of action after booting out KP to protect him from an evil and nasty man has not benefited the team in any demonstrable way.
“Why do we still think he is the best person for the job in Australia? In September the selectors spent nearly a week working out whether we would be best to stick with Alastair.”
So you debated Cook’s form for A WHOLE WEEK in September. You came to the conclusion that he was the best person for the job.
Since September, Cook has averaged 17.4 in 5 matches. He has also dropped critical catches and has had the scrutiny levels turned up to 11.
He has gotten WORSE since you took a week to decide to do nothing.
This is grand incompetency.
“Given that we are playing a World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with two new balls, where his track record is good”
His career ODI average is 36.45
In Australia, he averages 28.00.
The laws of mathematics say that he will perform worse in the World Cup than his career average.
Please, just for me, explain how he will be better off with each opening bowler having a new ball in their hand?
“Given that he has been captain for three and a half years and the only time he’s had a full-strength side they got to the final of the Champions Trophy and they should have won it.”
Are you suggesting that his batting has been horrible because the team he had was poor?
The team you made worse by dropping Kevin Pietersen from it?
“We felt strongly that all his experience, all his toughness would come out.”
This is the same guy who complained publicly about Shane Warne and social media being critical of him.
He also sooked when Jos Butler was mankaded, saying that “a line was crossed”
I don’t see any toughness there.
“Yes he is in miserable form, but form can change. The form he has shown is not the sort that anyone wants from their leader, but I would suggest that he is due.”
Downton is saying that Cook can’t be sacked because “he is due”. Does that mean players out of form can only then be sacked once they have made some runs?
“It hasn’t helped that he hasn’t scored any runs because this question keeps coming up, but in the end I’ve got to think that form will turn.”
You “think” it will turn? How many chances does he get?
It has been 44 innings since the captain of England has made a century, and he opens the batting.
“Alastair needs some runs and he will score runs again one day.”
Yes, he needs some runs. Yes, he may score runs again one day. Hopefully while playing Stick Cricket on his iPad.
There is a World Cup coming. You are putting the wants of an individual and perhaps the pride of some administrators ahead of the needs of the team.
That is culpable, negligent and childish.
“He’s not captain forever, but to the specific question as to who is our best captain to take us to the World Cup, following our discussions in September, it is Alastair Cook.”
He shouldn’t be captain tomorrow. He has played 5 ODI’s since the end of September. He failed in them all. He missed another one, because as captain, he couldn’t get the overs bowled in time.
If the ECB still believe he is the best option, English cricket is stuffed.
“I don’t know whether Alastair is in terminal decline, but he is 29 and he has had a year where everybody has questioned his being everyday. He is a remarkably strong guy and his track record says that he will score runs.”
You don’t know after 44 failed innings whether he is in terminal decline?
God help us.
His track record also clearly shows that he is unlikely to make any runs of note over any substantial period of time.