One-match ban for Cook confirmed

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Published: Thursday 4th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Alastair Cook has been banned for the fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka due to England’s slow over-rate in Wednesday’s five-wicket win.

Eoin Morgan will take over as England captain for their next match, on Sunday in Colombo.

International Cricket Council match referee David Boon decided that Cook will miss Sunday’s match, because of England’s poor over-rate in the Hambantota success.

An overdue success for Cook – just England’s second in nine ODIs and one which reduces their deficit in this seven-match series to 2-1 – was bitter-sweet for the skipper when it became obvious he would be suspended.

Cook was also in charge in similar circumstances against India at Cardiff last summer, and two such offences in any 12-month period bring a mandatory one-match ban.

The slate, however, will then be clean again for Cook – heading towards the World Cup early next year.

Peter Moores confirmed Morgan will deputise for Cook at the weekend.

The coach is confident too that the Irishman’s poor recent form will not prove too vexing an issue in the long term.

“Eoin Morgan will captain the next game,” he said. “He’s a good player, crikey.

“He’ll have been through periods when he’s not quite hitting it (as he’d like). But he’s the sort of player we’re very excited about.

“The key is to believe in yourself, and go out and play – and Eoin will do that, I’m sure.”

Cook, who figured in an opening stand of 84 with Moeen Ali as England chased a Duckworth-Lewis target of 236 at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, will be reduced to an observer’s role as his team try to level the series.

“It’s a shame for Alastair,” Moores added.

“I thought he played beautifully last night… he timed the ball really well.

“But one thing is that it cleans the slate for him, before we go to a World Cup – because he had that ban hanging over him, if he had one more time slow on our over-rate.”

Despite Cook’s unscheduled absence, England can at last celebrate a much-needed victory.

“It’s great to wake up when you’ve had a win,” Moores said.

“Sometimes, the morning after is the time you really feel wins and losses. So it’s great to know we’re back in the series, at 2-1.”

Published: Thursday 4th December 2014 by The News Editor

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