Alastair Cook admits 'regret' over Kevin Pietersen's dismissal in 2014
By Kalika Mehta
Last Updated: 05/09/18 3:49pm
Alastair Cook says he regrets the handling of Kevin Pietersen's dismissal from the England cricket team in 2014.
Following a 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia in 2013-14, the enigmatic batsman was criticised for the manner of some of the ways he lost his wicket and, in February 2014, Pietersen was told by the England and Wales Cricket Board he was no longer considered part of the national team set-up.
As captain at the time, Cook was part of the discussions however the ultimate decision was made by the England management, which included Ashley Giles, Paul Downton and national selector James Whitaker.
"It could have been handled differently," Cook admitted. "I have a regret over it, it wasn't great for English cricket. The end of the Sri Lanka series and the Lord's Test, that was the lowest I was."
In England's first Test series following the decision to no longer pick Pietersen, Cook struggled for form against Sri Lanka - managing a high score of 28 across his four innings - with England losing the two-Test series 1-0 to the visitors.
And, it took until the fourth Test against India for the Essex batsman to score his first half-century of the summer - hitting 95 and 70 against India at The Ageas Bowl to help England draw level in their five-match Test series.
Despite the fallout and calls for Cook to stand down as leader of the side, the 33-year-old explained it was not a thought that crossed his mind and that the series victories that followed were vindication for his decision not to give up the captaincy.
"I still thought I was the best man for the job and the right man to be captain at that time," he explained. "It wasn't easy. I could have taken the easy option but I didn't. That was when it was real tough but I didn't throw the towel in.
"I got the - that sounds selfish - the team got the reward winning the 2015 Ashes, which was just brilliant."
Watch day one of the fifth Test between England and India, at The Oval, live from 10am on Friday on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Main Event (channel 401).
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