• England

Swann: Cook's just not good enough

ESPN staff
August 29, 2014
Alastair Cook and Graeme Swann were friends when both were still playing © Getty Images

Graeme Swann has refused to back down in his war of words with Alastair Cook, claiming the England captain is simply not good enough for the country's one-day squad.

The former spinner angered Cook by claiming he should stand down as skipper in the short form of the game before the World Cup starts in Australia and New Zealand in February.

England's Test and one day captain said the comments were unhelpful, "especially from a so-called friend", but Swann has refused to back down.

"In one-day cricket, you should pick your 11 best players and choose your captain from there and I don't think he is one of the best 11 players," Swann wrote in his column for The Sun.

"I'm sure I'll speak to Cooky over the next couple of days but I won't back down from what I said. Real mates are honest with each other. My job now as a pundit [is] to give my honest thoughts.

"I texted Cooky after the Test series victory over India saying I was proud of the way he conducted himself but that he should get away from the one-dayers as quickly as possible. Being one-day captain is a poisoned chalice for him.

"This is not a witch-hunt against Cooky and I'm still a huge supporter of his captaincy in Test cricket. But, in one-day matches, I want England to play the exciting cricket they promised six months ago when Peter Moores took over as head coach.

"But we are sticking to the same theories and methods we've always used. We're happy to tootle along in a two-litre diesel in a Formula One race.

"If England do badly in the World Cup Cooky will be back to where he was earlier this summer when some people were waiting for him to mess up. He should be resting now, making sure he is fully recharged for the 17 Test matches England have next year.

"I'm 100 per cent behind him as Test captain. I went to his wedding and he offers to send me a turkey each Christmas from his farm. I hope I'm not off his list now!"

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close