Cook backs "brave" decision to axe KP

England

Alastair Cook has backed what he called a "brave" call to get rid of Kevin Pietersen and kick-start a new era for England.

Alastair Cook has backed what he called a "brave" call to get rid of Kevin Pietersen and kick-start a new era for England.

Speaking for the first time since the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Pietersen's axing, Cook said it was frustrating not being able to divulge the reasons behind the prolific run scorer's firing, but advised patience and promised that the full story would be told "soon".

"It was a brave call which took guts and consideration," said Cook.

"You do have to say at some point, 'This is the way we're going to do it moving forward."

Cook played a big part in Pietersen's last re-integration into the England side, following the former South African's disagreements with captain Andrew Strauss in 2012, but this time he said: "We all know how important team culture and team unity is.

"It was obviously a very big and important decision.

"I know things will become clearer in a little bit of time.

"I know it is frustrating. It is frustrating for me, because I have not totally been able to tell my side of the story. People just have to be a little bit patient."

It is suspected that the ECB are not yet able to comment on the exact reasons for the firing because they are not legally allowed to.

"Everyone will say I'm sitting on the fence, but there are a number of reasons which will become clearer soon," Cook added.

"Everyone is going to keep asking that question until we give the answers – but at the moment we just can't."

As he isn't a member of England's T20 side, Cook has played no part in their disappointing World T20 campaign in Bangladesh, which included an embarrassing loss to minnows Holland.

He will rejoin the side in next month's ODI against Scotland in Aberdeen, by which time a new head coach will be in place for England.

Limited-overs coach Ashley Giles is the favourite to assume the full job, and Cook appears to be in support of such a move.

"Gilo has had a tough winter – we've all had a tough winter," he said.

"He's a very, very good coach. He's a fantastic coach and a very good man as well. There are a lot of decisions to be made over the next couple of weeks by the hierarchy of the ECB – and important decisions as well."

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