Under-fire Cook admits he could be sacked as England’s captain

 
Ross McLean
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Alastair Cook says he will “hold his hands up” if removed as England’s ODI skipper
RESOLUTE England skipper Alastair Cook has reiterated his determination to remain as one-day captain but admits he could be sacked ahead of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

England were condemned to an 87-run defeat in the seventh and final one-day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka in Colombo yesterday which sealed a 5-2 series hammering.

Although Cook was the tourists’ third-highest scorer with 32, he has mustered only one half-century in 22 ODIs and five hundreds in 92 matches, while England have now lost six of their last seven series in the 50-over format.

The squad for January’s tri-series with hosts Australia and India, which will act as a nod to the World Cup party, will be named on Saturday, and Cook accepts he can have no complaints should the axe fall on his reign.

“I am captain of my country,” said Cook, whose side face a maximum of five ODIs before the start of the World Cup in February. “No one has any divine right to play for England and it hasn’t gone well over the last 12 months with my batting and one-day game, but I would feel very wrong to walk away from it.

“If that decision gets taken out of my hands then I will have to hold my hands up and say I haven’t been good enough, but until that time I will do what I always do and work incredibly hard.

“If the decision went that way [being removed], then I can’t do too much about it. If that happens, I can have no complaints.”

Peter Moores’ side were dismissed for 215 in the 46th over yesterday despite Joe Root’s standout knock of 80, meaning England only passed 250 twice in the series and were bowled out on five occasions, while never fielding the same side twice.

The tourists were chasing Sri Lanka’s 302 following Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 18th ODI ton, while Dinesh Chandimal and Thisara Perera both hit half-centuries, as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara made their final appearance on home soil.

SERIES RESULTS

■ 1st ODI: SL won by 25 runs
■ 2nd ODI: SL won by eight wickets
■ 3rd ODI: Eng won by five wickets
■ 4th ODI: SL won by six wickets
■ 5th ODI: Eng won by five wickets
■ 6th ODI: SL won by 90 runs
■ 7th ODI: SL won by 87 runs