Cook: We must take responsibility

Published: Tuesday 30th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Alastair Cook believes England and Australia have a “responsibility to the game” to behave during the Ashes.

The question of on-field conduct has been a recurring theme in the build-up to this summer’s series, with New Zealand’s recently concluded tour of England taking place with a noticeable sense of sportsmanship.

Where Australia are concerned, though, a preference for verbal aggression and so-called ‘mental disintegration’ is always on the menu.

England have been just as guilty of sledging in recent Ashes contests but one of their chief culprits, James Anderson, suggested last week that it was time for a sea change.

And Cook, as captain, has signalled his intention to lead that shift.

“We’ve got a great opportunity to make a real statement about how we should play cricket,” he said in a Radio Times interview with former England skipper Mike Brearley.

“I think the spirit (between England and New Zealand) has been fantastic, and we definitely can learn from that.

“It was fantastic. It was the most enjoyable series I’ve played in.

“It might be different (against Australia), or we could have a responsibility to the game.

“It’s always exciting when Australia come, but I just think both sides have got this responsibility now for the way cricket’s gone.”

While in the past the likes of Anderson, Stuart Broad, Joe Root and Ben Stokes have all needed little encouragement to give as much as they receive on the field, Cook is renowned as a more taciturn presence at the crease.

Indeed, the 30-year-old may well receive more abuse on social media than he does on the field of play.

He is a rarity among modern sportsmen in having no interest in the medium – he is not on Twitter or Instagram – and that appears unlikely to change any time soon.

“I don’t use it. It’s instant and anyone on Twitter is a target,” he said.

“You can be sitting in your lounge, and you’ve had a really good day, and even if you scored 100, someone could still write to you and say “That was the worst 100 I ever saw – what the hell are you doing?

“Basically they stand at your door, throw s**t at you and walk away with no consequences whatsoever. I know you can build your brand and you can build a profile and all of that, but it’s just not for me.

“I enjoy a lot of the on-field stuff, and the dressing-room stuff, whether we have won, lost or drawn. But I’m not a massive fan of the external stuff, I’m not too keen on that.

“I enjoy it once you’ve got the whites on, and you’re in the dressing room, and you’re trying to plot the opposition’s downfall.”

Published: Tuesday 30th June 2015 by The News Editor

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