Alastair Cook who is bidding adieu to his international cricket career has admitted that Kevin Pietersen's sacking in 2014 could have been handled better. He called the incident biggest regret in his career.
Addressing the media before the last Test against India at Oval, Cook opened up about the tough time after 2013-14 Ashes. England had suffered a 5-0 loss against Australia and Kevin Pietersen was dropped from the side despite being the top scorer in the series. The reason cited was 'Pietersen didn't cope up with the skipper Cook'.
"It could have been handled differently," said Cook. "I have a regret over it, it wasn't great for English cricket. The end of the Sri Lanka series and the Lord's Test, that was the lowest I was."
The 33-year-old didn't have any say in this career-ending decision for Pietersen. Cook believed ECB's decision made an impression that it was his decision.
Even Kevin showed his disappointment in his autobiography that Cook should not have agreed with ECB's move. "I thought the way he behaved called into question his qualifications to be captain," said Pietersen.
Talking about the 2014 Lord's defeat against India which saw Ishant Sharma running over the English batting line-up, Cook said, "The fall-out of that wasn't great for English cricket and wasn't great for me. I was involved in that decision without being the bloke who actually made the final decision."
Regardless of the defeat in the first Test against India, Cook and England have gone on to win the series. They also regained the Ashes later that summer. "When it was really tough I didn't throw the towel in," said Cook. "I still thought I was the best man for the job and the right man to be captain at that time. It wasn't easy. I could have taken the easy option but I didn't. And I got the - that sounds selfish but - the team got the reward winning the 2015 Ashes, which was just brilliant."
(With Cricbuzz inputs)