Cook vows he won’t stir it up for second Ashes Test
England captain Alastair Cook: ‘Some of those scenes were ugly at the end of that game and we do have a duty to play the game in the right way’. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Alastair Cook has accepted his responsibility for ensuring there is no repeat of the “ugly” scenes that marred England’s first Test defeat in Brisbane, after meeting with match referee Jeff Crowe.
The England captain had described Ashes cricket as “pretty much a war” in the immediate aftermath of the words and gestures exchanged between Jimmy Anderson and several Australia players, including their captain Michael Clarke being caught by a stump mic warning Anderson to “get ready for a f***ing broken arm”.
But after more than a week to reflect on the incident, and on Jonathan Trott’s abrupt departure from the tour, Cook said: “Some of those scenes were ugly at the end of that game and we do have a duty to play the game in the right way.
“We want to play tough cricket just like Australia do but we have to make sure we stick to those boundaries and I bear a responsibility for that.”
He confirmed he had spoken to Crowe, the former New Zealand batsman, who has been appointed by the International Cricket Council to take overall control of discipline in the early stages of the series, and who is also thought to have had discussions with Clarke.
But there have not been any face-to-face talks between the captains.
“We know the responsibility we have when we pull on the shirt and no matter how much emotion in the game we know how many are watching us and we know what responsibility we have to the game,” Cook added.
“Whether we got it right or wrong in that game I don’t know but we have got to make sure we behave as appropriately as we can out there.”
Clarke was not asked directly whether he had met Crowe, but added to the mood of conciliation in the buildup to the second Test when he paid a warm tribute to Trott.
‘A fantastic player’
“I think Jonathan Trott has been a fantastic player and is a fantastic player and will come back as a very good player still,” he said.
“He’s a big loss to any team – I think he averages close to 50, bats at No3, he’s always been tough for us to get out, there’s no doubt about it.
“I think we’ve all said as members of the team and our support staff that we wish Trotty all the best and hopefully he’s back playing for England sooner rather than later because he’s a great player, he’s been exceptional for England in such an important role, and I really enjoy the challenges of playing against him. He’s a nice guy as well.”
Clarke refused the opportunity to predict England’s team, as he had done correctly more than a week before the first Test, but said he would not be surprised if they select Monty Panesar as a second specialist spinner.
“Good question, interesting,” he laughed. “I have no idea who they’re going to select, and I’m not going to get involved in that. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they played two spinners. –