Alastair Cook expressed his regret on Wednesday at the way Kevin Pietersen’s England career ended but made it clear he was not the only one responsible.
In the summer of 2012 Pietersen was suspended for the third Test against South Africa after he sent texts to members of the opposition side – criticising the then captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen was later re-instated to the squad, but his recall caused division until he was dropped two years later.
Alastair Cook admitted he had regrets over the sacking of Kevin Pietersen (left) back in 2014
‘I have regret over it because it wasn’t great for English cricket, the whole fallout of it,’ he said
‘Of course there are decisions in hindsight that you question,’ he said.
‘Clearly the KP affair was a tough year, there’s no doubt about that. The fall-out of that wasn’t great for English cricket and wasn’t great for me.
‘I was involved in that decision without being the bloke who actually made the final call. The fall-out of that decision and the effect it had for 12 months was…’
For once Cook’s habit of not finishing sentences left nothing unsaid.
Pietersen’s England career came to an end following the disastrous 2013-14 tour to Australia
Cook poses with a newspaper carrying a story about his impending retirement from Tests
The left-handed opener is preparing for his 161st and final Test match, against India at The Oval
COOK SIGNS THREE-YEAR ESSEX DEAL
Alastair Cook will continue playing for Essex after the club announced the left-hander had signed a new three-year deal.
Head coach Anthony McGrath said on Essex’s official website: ‘It’s great news that Cooky has committed his future to the club.
‘He’s one of the best batsmen in the world and he’s so important for us both on and off the pitch. He’s a great person to have around the club and is a great role model for the young players coming through.
‘He also has the ability to change a game with his batting and that’s something everyone wants in their team.’
‘It could have been handled differently,’ he carried on.
‘The moment Andrew Strauss (as a selector) came on board and said he was making the decision (to leave Pietersen out) was the best thing that could have happened for me.
‘I do have regrets over it. The Sri Lankan series that year (which England lost) and Lord’s (defeat in the first Test against India later that summer in 2014), that was the lowest I was.
‘It was really tough but I didn’t throw the towel in. I still thought I was the best man for the job and the right one to be captain at that time.
‘But it wasn’t easy. I could have taken the easy option but I didn’t.
‘And I got the reward — no, that sounds selfish, the team did — of winning the 2015 Ashes. That was brilliant.’
The batsman kisses the urn as England celebrate winning the Ashes against Australia in 2015
‘I can look back at my career… and say I became the best player I could become,’ says Cook