Home > News >

Alastair Cook says would ‘never quit’ after series loss to Sri Lanka

Alastair Cook had a disappointing series with the bat in hand © Getty Images
Alastair Cook had a disappointing series as a batsman © Getty Images

By Julian Guyer

Leeds: Jun 25, 2014

Alastair Cook was adamant he would ‘never quit’ as England captain after the side suffered a fresh series reverse by a desperately narrow margin against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Tuesday.

It seemed England might escape with both a drawn match and series as No 11 James Anderson defied Sri Lanka’s bowlers for some 20 overs.

But with just two balls left in the match, he couldn’t evade a well-directed Shaminda Eranga bouncer and was caught at leg gully with Moeen Ali, who’d kept Sri Lanka at bay for six-and-half hours on 108 not out at the other end — his maiden Test ton.

Victory gave Sri Lanka the two-match series 1-0, after the Islanders themselves had battled to a draw with just one wicket standing at Lord’s, and saw a tearful Anderson, who blocked 54 balls before falling to the 55th he faced, sink to his knees in disbelief.

England, set 350 to win, had been bowled out for 249 and for a ‘new-look’ side there was the same old feeling of loss following the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia under Cook’s leadership.

- ‘Leave everything out there’ -

However, a defiant Cook insisted: “I’ve never quit on anything I’ve done. I’ve given it my all, all the time. Every 104 games I’ve played for England, I’ve left everything out there.

“It’s the same situation here. Until that moment somebody tells me they don’t want me to be captain, I’ll still be here,” the 29-year-old left-handed opening batsman added.

Cook, who has now gone 24 innings since compiling the last of his England record 25 Test hundreds, appeared to be close to the end of his tether even before this match when he said “something needs to be done” about the persistent criticism of his captaincy by Australia great Shane Warne.

But this match only served to increase the scrutiny of Cook’s tactics, with England failing to attack Angelo Mathews while the Sri Lanka skipper played a match-changing innings of 160 on Monday.

England’s main concern for much of Mathews’s century lay in getting Rangana Herath on strike, only for the left-arm spinner to make an invaluable 48 in a key eighth-wicket stand of 149 with his captain.

England then collapsed to 57 for five before the close of Monday’s fourth day, a position which left a rearguard action as their only realistic goal.

The form of Cook, one of a quartet of top-order batsmen undone by previously little-known paceman Dhammika Prasad, was labelled a “recipe for resignation” by ex-England skipper Geoffrey Boycott, himself a former Test opener.

However, Cook — speaking a fortnight before the start of a five-Test series at home to India — said: “I’m incredibly proud to be England captain.

“I’ve been selected to do it. If someone decides I’m not the right person for the job, and the results don’t justify me doing it, then fine.

“Until that moment, I’m desperate to try to turn English cricket around.”

Reflecting on Ali’s century, which came in just the Worcestershire all-rounder’s second Test, Cook said: “It was an incredible effort today — Mo’s [Moeen Ali] hundred, for a free-flowing batsman to be so controlled, measured and calm under that pressure.”

However, Cook conceded England had played a key part in their own downfall at Headingley.

“We lost this Test match with a really bad day yesterday [Monday].

“We had one of our worst days, with both bat and ball, and lost this game because of it.

“Obviously, as a captain, you are responsible.

“We didn’t bowl very well. We knew we had to bowl that fuller length…we knew what we were trying to do, but we just didn’t get it right.”

As for Anderson’s tears, Cook said they were evidence of England’s desperate desire to do well.

“Jimmy [Anderson], right at the end, I think that just shows to everybody who doesn’t really know us as blokes what it means to play for England.”

Catch all news and updates of the Sri Lanka tour of England 2014 here

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Long live the King

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 4 at Southampton: Moeen Ali puts England in complete command

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Virat Kohli departs as India lose fourth wicket on Day 4 against England in 3rd Test at Southampton

England continue to make inroads as India lose Shikhar Dhawan on Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton

India steady after early blows against England on Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton

ICC to consider Ravindra Jadeja’s appeal in ‘pushgate’ incident to overturn fine

England make second breakthrough as Cheteshwar Pujara departs on Day 4 against India in 3rd Test

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: A symbol of genius encompassing almost two decades

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Long live the King

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: How the legend began

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Statistical comparison with other all-rounders

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Samsung Gear S is reportedly the company’s next smartwatch

England continue to make inroads as India lose Shikhar Dhawan on Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton

Hrithik Roshan clarifies about alimony dispute with Sussanne Khan!

Emraan Hashmi denies signing a film opposite South actor Sandra Amy!

Connected devices have huge security holes: Study

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: A symbol of genius encompassing almost two decades

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here