Alastair Cook recently lost ODI series at home to both India and Sri Lanka © Getty Images
Alastair Cook recently lost ODI series at home to both India and Sri Lanka © Getty Images

London: Sep 25, 2014

Former England cricketer Jonathan Agnew has said that the selectors are taking a big risk by asking Alastair Cook to captain the squad in the Sri Lanka ODI tour and next year’s World Cup.

National selector James Whitaker has given Cook his 100 percent backing and praised the skipper’s fortitude and resilience over a difficult summer. But Agnew believes that those factors should have been irrelevant in their decision.

Agnew revealed that the key considerations are whether Cook is the right man to captain the side in the World Cup and, crucially, whether he can withstand England’s crazy schedule and still be at the top of his game for the Ashes, which remains the key contest for most cricket fans, The BBC reported.

The former England cricketer said that his preference would have been for Cook to be rested from the World Cup, adding that this level of sport is extremely hard work and being captain brings all sorts of other pressures.

The former bowler also said that after the disappointing one-day series against India , Cook would be under scrutiny from the very start of the Sri Lanka tour, and added that there would be questions asked every match and if England are badly beaten then that pressure would only intensify in the run-up to the World Cup.

Agnew further said that with Test series against West Indies and New Zealand following straight after the World Cup, there is a real danger of Cook being mentally and physically exhausted by the time the Ashes come round next July, and that would be a huge shame for English cricket and its supporters.