Alastair Cook hits out at Graeme Swann criticism despite crushing England defeat

Swann said England had 'a cat's hell in chance' of winning the World Cup

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The Independent Online

Alastair Cook has hit out at Graeme Swann after his “so-called friend” and former team-mate said he should quit as one-day captain.

Cook and Swann became very close during England’s successful spell from 2009-13, and remained so even after Swann retired midway through the 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia last winter.

Speaking as a pundit for BBC radio on Monday, Swann also said England did not have “a cat in hell’s chance” of winning next year’s World Cup. The miserable 133-run defeat by India in the second one-day international here yesterday did little to contradict him but Cook was clearly angry when asked about Swann’s comments after the match.

“I don’t think it’s that helpful, to be honest with you, especially from a so-called friend,” said Cook. “It’s not ideal for me especially when you get through the summer I’ve had, but it is what it is.

“Do I intend to speak to him? No, but the phone is always open the other way. It’s a little bit disappointing because he is a good friend of mine and has been a supporter. It’s not helpful at this time, because I am going to captain the team in the World Cup [in February and March] in Australia and New Zealand. “I’ve been captain for three-and-a-half years, we’re going to build up to the tournament and we’ve got a good chance.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had the same message as Swann, and despite his optimism, Cook acknowledged that the team could not afford to repeat performances like this where they were bowled out for 161, leaving them 1-0 down in the series with three games left.

“If we play like that we’re not going to win many games but the talent is there. In the World Cup we need to be consistent for three-and-a-half to four weeks. We have a lot of improvement to do.”