London: Alastair Cook has described the last two months as a “state of limbo” but now believes he starts again as England captain following the reappointment of Peter Moores.
Cook has not played for England since the end of the one-day series in Australia on January 27 and arrived home mentally and physically exhausted by his Ashes ordeal.
He was exposed in Australia and roundly criticised by many former players, and not just Shane Warne. His first point of contact since coming home was Andy Flower, who retains strong links as a special adviser to Moores in the new set-up.
Cook has also worked with Dr Steve Bull, the sports psychologist, on “leadership courses”. He dismisses the notion of becoming a Mr Nasty figure or being demonstrably more showy on the field as that would be a false impression of who he is, and Cook is determined to captain his own way.
“We [Cook and Flower] have been in contact over the last couple of months working on things with my captaincy and I think having him as an adviser on that is something we both want him to do,” Cook said. “Moorsey and me have to be totally clear on what we want to do, and we will steer the ship. Andy won’t be making decisions behind our backs, but I will be using Andy as part of my leadership stuff.
“The crucial thing is making good decisions on the field and off the field, and creating a culture and an image of an England cricket team which I will be proud of.
“As a captain I seem to have got rid of two coaches and an MD, so it’s been an amazing 18 months. I had Andy as the full-time coach, then Andy and Ashley as coaches, and now Peter.
“We have been in limbo the last couple of months, coming back from Australia, devastated with what happened, and you start to think about how to turn things around. You have a lot of ideas, talk to a lot of people, but you can’t actually follow through until the head coach came in. On Friday, when I found who it was, it was a weight off my shoulders. I can now pick up the phone and talk cricket.”