Stuart Broad backs axed Alastair Cook to cement legend status
Being removed as England captain for next month`s 50-over Cricket World Cup could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for test skipper Alastair Cook, according to team mate Stuart Broad.
London: Being removed as England captain for next month`s 50-over Cricket World Cup could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for test skipper Alastair Cook, according to team mate Stuart Broad.
Poor personal form with the bat and a bad run of results for the side led to the selectors replacing Cook as captain with Eoin Morgan last month and Broad believes the Essex left-hander will be re-energised and re-invigorated after a spell away from the game.
"I`ve spoken to Alastair and he`s really disappointed after leading the team for three and a half years towards the World Cup but he also knows it`s a results-based business," the all-rounder told Reuters in an interview at Wentworth Golf Club.
"With this sort of decision you`ve got to change your mindset very quickly to being positive. Now he can look forward to a bit of a break with his young family and refresh for what`s a massive year of test cricket."
Aside from the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, England have a packed test schedule in 2015 with a home Ashes encounter against Australia and tussles with New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa.
The 30-year-old Cook has already hit more test centuries (25) for England than anyone else and Broad believes he could go on to break every record in the book in the five-day format of the game.
"Alastair`s already a legend with the bat in English cricket but he`s got an opportunity in the next four or five years to go miles ahead of everyone else and to win trophy after trophy," said Broad, who is an ambassador for Ashes sponsors Investec.
"He will now focus his energy on that. Yes, he`ll be gutted to not be in the World Cup squad but he`s also a fantastic man who will want England to go out there and win."
Broad, who has played in 74 tests, 108 one-day internationals and 56 Twenty20s for his country, is excited about returning to the international arena after his knee operation last year.
"The knee is great now," said the 28-year-old right-arm paceman and left-handed batsman. "It got to a place last summer where I was really struggling with it so it was perfect timing to have surgery with such a fantastic 2015 coming up.
"My rehab was good. I spent a lot of time at home, which is quite rare for us, this year for example I think we spend something like 320 nights away from home.
"I feel strong but the only thing I haven`t done is played a game of cricket. I must have bowled 120 overs in training but nothing tests you like a 50-over game," added Broad after receiving some golfing tuition from Europe`s triumphant 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul Mcginley at Wentworth.
"It`s not like a hamstring tear that could just go at any time. It might still ache for a couple of weeks and I`ll wear a knee pad to protect it when I`m diving in the field, make sure I heat it up with a hot water bottle before I go out and then ice it as soon as I come off."
Although England are rated as outsiders for the World Cup, Broad believes the heavy artillery in their batting lineup makes them dark horses for the title.
"We`ve got the ability in this team to go far," he said. "We are underdogs, no doubt, but with the likes of Morgan, Alex Hales, Ravi Bopara and Jos Buttler...we could be a dangerous team.
"One-day cricket has changed quite a lot in the last four or five years. Having four men outside the ring instead of five is an example.
"Guys who can hit the ball 360 degrees are really tough to bowl to and we`ve got those sort of players," added Broad.