Cook at boiling point following Warne criticism

 
Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank
UNDER-FIRE England cricket captain Alastair Cook has accused former Australia spinner Shane Warne of harbouring a personal agenda against him.

Cook gave vent to his frustration yesterday, on the eve of the second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley today, when asked about growing criticism of his performance, notably from the outspoken Warne.

“Something needs to be done, because for the three years of being England captain I have in my eyes been criticised for a hell of a lot of that,” he said.

“Yes, when you lose games of cricket you get criticised. But I’ve also won a lot of games of cricket for England, won more one-day games as an England captain, I won an Ashes, I won in India away, and that’s what I’m proud of as well. So to be criticised for three years totally with those results I find quite hard to take.”

Cook was asked whether he felt criticism from Warne, who has labelled the opening batsman “boring” and called for him to be dropped, was personal. He replied: “Yeah, I think it is.”

The Essex player has not scored a Test century for more than a year and made just 17 and 28 in the drawn first match against Sri Lanka at Lord’s earlier this week – a sequence he is desperate to improve today.

“It is a concern,” he added. “It’s crucial that I get back to scoring as many runs as I can. I’m doing all the hard work and I just have to score the runs in the middle.

“The first 10 or 12 games as captain I scored six or seven hundreds and in the next 12 games I scored seven 50s and no hundreds. So the difference is I haven’t been converting chances into big scores.”

COOK IN NUMBERS

Record as England captain
Played 22, Won 9, Lost 6, Drawn 7

Runs scored as skipper
First 11 Tests: 1,311
Second 11 Tests: 568