Andrew Strauss, who led England to its first Ashes series win in Australia in 24 years in December, will stay on as captain of the Test team after deciding to quit one-day internationals to concentrate on elite five-day cricket.
The promotions of opening batsman Cook, Strauss’s Test vice-captain, and all-rounder Broad come two days after England team director Andy Flower renewed his contract. It’s the first time England has had different full-time captain across the game’s three formats.
“It has never been tried before so I am excited by the opportunity it provides us with,” Flower said at a news conference in London. “We don’t know 100 percent whether it will work and be the most efficient system but we’re going to give it a try.”
“The end of the World Cup was a watershed for all teams, not just England, and it’s time to refresh, regenerate and move forward,” Strauss said. “I’m extremely proud of the strides we’ve made in limited-overs cricket over the past two years. In my mind, me starting the process toward the next World Cup and not seeing it through was not in the best interests of the team.”
He said he still had “a huge amount of drive and determination” to take the Test team forward, and retiring from one-day cricket would enable him to focus on the five-day captaincy as third-ranked England seeks the top spot.
Cook, 26, wasn’t selected for England’s 2011 World Cup squad even after racking up 766 runs in the Ashes victory in Australia. He stood in as one-day captain for Strauss 14 months ago in Bangladesh, where he led the team to a 3-0 win in the one-day series and 2-0 sweep of the Tests.
“It is a huge honor and privilege and I’m excited by the challenge,” Cook said. “I’m quite inexperienced as a captain but that gives me a huge potential to learn. I know Andy Flower from Essex, and we started something in Bangladesh as captain and coach and I look forward to that continuing.”
Broad, 24, replaces 34-year-old Paul Collingwood, who led England to the World Twenty20 title last year.
“There is not a huge amount of T20 cricket until the World Cup but I’m hugely excited to be leading a talented group of players,” Broad said. “This is my first captaincy role but I’ve played under talented captains and learned from every one.”
Since Flower took the team director post on a permanent basis in 2009, England has risen to third from sixth in the International Cricket Council Test rankings and gone up one place to fifth in the one-day game. In 2009, he and Strauss helped England defeat Australia 2-1 to regain the Ashes before retaining the trophy with a 3-1 victory in 2010-11.
Flower said Cook and Broad will benefit from working alongside Strauss.
“These two young captains will learn a lot from him,” Flower said. “I think they’re lucky to have him as a sounding- board. This could be the most effective use of our resources. Over the next few years we will see if that works or not.”
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