Cricket: Former England captain admits to being wrong over calls for Cook to step down

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan
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former England captain Michael Vaughan has admitted he was wrong to suggest Alastair Cook should be replaced as the leader of the national side.

Vaughan was one of a number of former England captains turned media pundits to criticise Cook in the wake of the humbling defeat to India at Lord’s in the second Investec Test.

Vaughan, who led England to Ashes glory in 2005, believed Cook should have been stood down as captain and given a six-month break from cricket in order to feel refreshed for a busy schedule next year.

But with England bouncing back from their setback to win at the Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford and go 2-1 up in the series, Vaughan has retracted his comments.

“No question, I was wrong,” said Vaughan on BBC Radio 5 Live’s the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show.

“Two and a half weeks ago, I said a break would’ve done him good.

“But the England and Wales Cricket Board stood by him, he was strong and said ‘I’m the man to carry this young team forward’.”

Cook responded to questions over his form with knocks of 95 and 70 not out in Southampton.

However, he was given a major let-off in his first innings when he was put down on 15 by Ravindra Jadeja, a reprieve that Vaughan thinks altered the momentum in the five-Test series.

Vaughan said: “I think that one catch is the real twist of the whole series. If Jadeja had caught Cook on 15, I really felt at that time, it would’ve been a disaster for the side.”

Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria, meanwhile, has once again had an application to appeal his life ban from cricket dismissed, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced.

Kaneria was banned by an ECB disciplinary council in June 2012 after being was found guilty of corruption while playing with Essex during a Pro40 match in 2009.

The 33-year-old has repeatedly tried to overturn the punishment, but his latest appeal was ‘totally without merit’ according to Rt Hon Sir Stanley Burnton, sitting in the Court of Appeal, Civil Division.

With Kaneria unable to have the decision reconsidered, the ECB said he has ‘exhausted all the legal options available to him to appeal a life ban’.

Kaneria was convicted of ‘cajoling and pressurising’ former team-mate Mervyn Westfield into accepting cash in return for trying to concede a set number of runs in an over while with Essex.

Westfield was sentenced to four months in prison and received a five-year ban from professional cricket for his part in the scandal although Kaneria has repeatedly protested his innocence.

Yet he has seen numerous appeal attempts thrown out and the ECB’s announcement that Kaneria has no legal options available to him that would appear to bring the saga to a close.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: “ECB welcomes today’s decision to dismiss the application by Mr Kaneria to appeal the life ban imposed for his corrupt activity.”

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