Captain Cook is thrown overboard for Twenty20

England's leader in Bangladesh is left out of 30-man squad for World T20 tournament

From hero to zero might be pushing it a bit but Alastair Cook ought still to have been justifiably miffed. Six weeks ago he was England's captain in a Twenty20 international and yesterday he failed to make the provisional squad for the World Twenty20 tournament in May.

If it was typical of the selectors' hard-nosed, no-nonsense approach in their latest incarnation, it made little pragmatic sense. Indeed, it was the sort of omission that can destabilise teams. The chap commanding the ship is now no longer wanted on board. It is a crass piece of man-management and it may well be a wrong-headed selection.

Cook is the England captain on this tour of Bangladesh, leading the side in the three one-day internationals – the second of which is today – and the two Test matches. He was in the Twenty20 squad for the matches in South Africa and for those in Dubai a fortnight ago when, had something happened to the official T20 captain, Paul Collingwood, he might well have had to take over.

Quite why Cook is not considered to be among the 30 most accomplished T20 players in England only the selectors know. At the end of last season he virtually reinvented himself at his county, Essex, scored 337 T20 runs at 48 and on Sunday night exhibited his revolutionary new limited-overs method to splendid effect in the team's victory over Bangladesh in the opening one-dayer.

National selector Geoff Miller was at pains to emphasise yesterday that the formats of the game demand diverse qualities. "I don't think it's odd at all," he said. "There's a dramatic difference between 50-over and 20-over cricket. We didn't think Alastair was a 20-over player so he wasn't selected, to prove us wrong. He is improving his 50 overs, that might work at Twenty20 as well. We don't see he has got over that mark."

Dramatic differences indeed, but every other member of the party for the one-day, 50-over series in Bangladesh is in the 30 and the probability is that almost all of them will go to the World Twenty20, which starts in the West Indies in late April.

Stability alone dictated Cook's inclusion. It is possible that Cook would not have made the final 15 for the tournament but since he is captain here, in a position which is already delicate because he is standing in for Andrew Strauss, it might just have been more politic to put him in the provisional party.

On a tour made difficult precisely because England are expected to win, Cook is bound to feel affected. He led the side well when they were under early assault from Bangladesh on Sunday and will be in charge in tonight's second match of a team unlikely to be altered.

Toughness has to be tempered with sense sometimes. Given his omission and Craig Kieswetter's inclusion, it is distinctly possible that England will have yet another brand new opening partnership when the World Twenty20 starts. This would be audacity in the extreme.

There are five uncapped players in yesterday's party but it is difficult to think that any of them will be named. Ravi Bopara (below, left) and Owais Shah have both been recalled. If this is slightly surprising when it was thought that Shah had had his day and Bopara was being put out to grass awhile, the selectors have been shrewd enough to notice that both may have a chance to press their claims for the West Indies tournament by showing decent form in the Indian Premier League that precedes it.

There are two other potential sticking points. England's elite cricketers have still to sign the central contracts they were offered late last summer. They are playing under tour contracts tied to their terms of employment a year earlier.

"It doesn't worry me at all," Miller said. "They know what's required of them out on the field. I'm not over- happy with the situation that they're not signed immediately. There is a possibility of it affecting things on the field but it certainly hasn't been a problem as far as performance, dedication and effort."

Kevin Pietersen's inclusion in the squad is also fraught with potential problems. As England's leading T20 scorer (second only to Brendon McCullum in the world list) Pietersen is an obvious choice despite his recent international lull.

But Pietersen's wife, Jessica, is expecting the couple's first child sometime in May. It may or may not coincide with the tournament but Pietersen intends to be at the birth. Given the time frame, England are taking a chance.

Pietersen is no doubt doing exactly the right thing but, if the baby has not been born when the team depart, it may be decidedly tricky in the middle and in the maternity unit.

England squad for World Twenty20:

P D Collingwood (capt), J M Anderson, I R Bell, R S Bopara, T T Bresnan, S C J Broad, S M Davies, J L Denly, S T Finn, C Kieswetter, M J Lumb, S I Mahmood, A D Mascarenhas, E J G Morgan, G Onions, K P Pietersen, L E Plunkett, M J Prior, A U Rashid, O A Shah, A Shahzad, R J Sidebottom, G P Swann, J C Tredwell, P D Trego, J Trott, D J Wainwright, C R Woakes, L J Wright, M H Yardy.

Second ODI: Possible teams


T Iqbal, I Kayes, Z Siddiqi, A Ahmed, S Al Hasan (capt), M Rahim (wkt), M Ullah, N Islam, M Bin Mortaza, A Razzaq, S Islam


A N Cook (capt), C Kieswetter, K P Pietersen, P D Collingwood, E J O Morgan, M J Prior (wkt), L J Wright, T T Bresnan, S C J Broad, G P Swann, R J Sidebottom

Umpires: N Shah and R J Tucker (Aus)

Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

England lead the three-match series 1-0

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?