Cook brushes off wage dispute as England lose to New Zealand

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook insists his team is focused on winning the one-day international (ODI) series in New Zealand, despite falling 1-0 down amid a lingering pay dispute.

New Zealand beat England by three wickets in Hamilton yesterday, reaching 259-7 with seven balls remaining, after bowling the tourists out for 258.

The defeat coincided with growing tensions over whether England players should be paid more to compensate for missing out on a month of Indian Premier League (IPL) action later in the year.

“This is not really the time for me to talk about it. It is important we focus on trying to win a one-day series in New Zealand,” he said.

“Playing for England is such a huge honour it should always remain that,” Cook added. The second of the three-match ODI series is played on Wednesday.