Shane Warne finally decides to make peace with Alastair Cook
- Iconic Australian leg-spinner surprisingly makes U-turn with regards to Cook's captaincy.
What’s the story?
Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has finally chosen to bury the hatchet with Alastair Cook who recently stepped down from England’s Test captaincy. The 47-year old made a complete U-turn by heaping praise on the southpaw’s journey as skipper.
In a Facebook Live post, Warne said, “He's (Cook) been a wonderful ambassador for the game of cricket. He's one of those guys you wouldn't mind your daughter marrying, he's a wonderful guy. He went through some really tough times a few years ago when a lot of us, me included, thought he wasn't suited to the job.
“But England backed him and he's done a great job over the last couple of years. He's respected by his teammates and the way he's conducted things on and off the field, I think he's done a wonderful job for England and I wish him all the best.”
He added that Cook has now got a tremendous opportunity to continue amassing Test runs and break one record after another. With the pressure of captaincy lifted from his shoulders, the left-hander has been tipped to get back to his prolific best.
In case you didn’t know...
Warne has not shied away from airing his disapproval of Cook’s style of captaincy. Widely regarded as a shrewd mind whom Australia never quite utilised as a skipper, the wrist-spinner took potshots at the left-hander’s safety-first approach on a regular basis.
The heart of the matter
When England surprisingly suffered a 0-1 loss to Sri Lanka in the 2014 home series, Warne termed Cook’s defensive captaincy in the penultimate day of the Headingley Test as the ‘worst day of captaincy he had ever seen at international level in almost 25 years in the game’. Claiming that the 32-year old did not learn anything from the 0-5 Ashes drubbing in the preceding season, the Victorian advised him to relinquish the captaincy and take a break from cricket.
Not happy at all with Warne’s repeated criticism, Cook responded by calling for ‘something to be done’ about the leg-spinner’s personal attacks and reminded him of England’s 2012 series victory in India along with the 2013 home Ashes triumph as proof of his captaincy skills.
Middle-order batsman Joe Root has emerged as the leading contender to replace Cook at the helm of affairs. Warne threw his weight behind the Yorkshireman and even backed him to do a sterling job for England’s Test fortunes.
As we have often seen in the game, players are remembered for their positive impact once they give up captaincy or bid adieu. Despite having an unpredictable personality, Warne has done the right thing in burying the hatchet and acknowledging Cook’s graceful nature as well as his excellent contribution to English cricket.Published 07 Feb 2017, 20:47 IST