Cook: English cricket has taken a hammering
England captain Alastair Cook admits that English cricket has taken a 'hammering' over the last year or so but the rebuilding of the side starts with the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's on Thursday.
The Three Lions play the Black Caps in a two Test series which precedes an Ashes tour in what could be a defining English season for Cook and his team.
England were horrible at the World Cup. going home after the group stages, and then drew a Test series against the lowly ranked West Indies in the Caribbean.
Those efforts saw the ECB appoint a new Director of Cricket in Andrew Strauss and he immediately sacked Peter Moores as coach. Strauss also poured cold water on a return to the national side of exiled batsman Kevin Pietersen, saying the Board and the maverick player have massive 'trust issues'.
While all this has been going on, the England team have fallen out of favour with their own public and Cook knows the only way to out that right is with results on the field, starting with the Black Caps.
On the eve of the first Test, Cook said: "I absolutely understand that cricket has taken hammering over the past 18 months. There has been a real big change, but we're now focussing on playing. It's a really exciting time.
"Everyone who follows the England cricket team wants us to be successful. We know the pressure but it's a great pressure."
The skipper also felt that the sacking of Moores was a tough call saying he enjoyed his time working with the former coach.
Cook continued: "It was a tough call and we all feel for Peter Moores. He was a players' coach, a guy who right on the pulse. Getting the best out of people was his real strength. As a player and captain I loved my time with Mooresy."
Jonny Bairstow heading in the right direction in his recovery from injury
The 33-year-old Yorkshireman underwent successful surgery on a broken leg and dislocated ankle in September after a freak golf incident.
Jofra Archer enjoys new role as he bowls England to victory in South Africa
Archer did not open the bowling but produced career-best ODI figures.
Sir Andrew Strauss lauds ‘extraordinary leaders’ Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes
England’s men’s team have won nine of their 10 Test matches under the new regime.
Jofra Archer returns career-best ODI figures as England claim consolation win
England won the third and final match against South Africa but had already lost the series.
Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler hit hundreds as England fight back in South Africa
Buttler’s men are bidding to avoid a series clean sweep and a sixth successive loss in the ODI format.
Tom Curran taking break from red-ball cricket for ‘my body and my mental health’
The 27-year-old has endured injury problems in recent years.
Olly Stone hopes to play a role in an England pace trio during this year’s Ashes
Stone hopes to play a role this summer along with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Olly Stone ready for whatever role is required to make England World Cup squad
‘Any way in the England team, I’ll snap someone’s hand off,’ said Stone.
Dane van Niekerk ‘absolutely broken’ to miss World Cup over fitness standards
The South Africa captain was unable to complete a two-kilometre run in the minimum required time.
Run of defeats has not damaged England’s confidence, insists Moeen Ali
The all-rounder is confident England will be in good shape for the defence of their World Cup crown.