Cricket round-up: Cook angered by Swann’s World Cup comment

Former cricketer's prediction that England will not win World Cup next year 'is not helpful'. In other news, West Indies-Bangladesh T20 game is washed away.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, has been incensed by Graeme Swann's remark that his team will not win the World Cup in 2015. Geoff Caddick / AFP
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CARDIFF // With friends like Graeme Swann, England captain Alastair Cook may feel he has no need of any enemies.

England suffered a massive 133-run defeat by world champions India in the second one-day international in Cardiff on Wednesday, effectively the first of what is now a four-match series following Monday’s total washout in Bristol.

Opening batsman Cook made 19 off 33 balls as England, chasing a rain-revised target of 295 off 47 overs, were bowled out for just 161.

That came after India posted an imposing total of 304 for six, with man-of-the-match Suresh Raina making exactly 100.

Former England off-spinner Swann, now a commentator with BBC Radio’s Test Match Special, said Monday that England “do not have a cat in hell’s chance” of winning the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year.

He also urged Cook, whose orthodox approach many pundits believe is ill-suited to the white ball game, to quit one-day cricket completely.

Until December, Swann was a teammate of Cook before dramatically retiring during England’s 5-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

And coming towards the end of a season where several former England captains said Cook should resign as Test captain, only for both he and the team to recover to beat India 3-1, Swann’s comments did not go down well.

“I don’t think it’s that helpful – especially from a so-called friend,” Cook said.

“He’s entitled to his opinion. [But] it’s not ideal for me, especially when you get through the summer I’ve had,” the 29-year-old Essex left-hander added.

Meanwhile Cook, whose self-confessed stubborn streak saw him continue as Test captain, was adamant he would lead the team at the World Cup, where England will try to lift the trophy for the first time in 40 years of trying.

“I am a little bit [disappointed] – because he [Swann] is a good friend of mine, and has been a supporter,” Cook said.

“It’s not helpful at this time, because I am going to be captain in this World Cup.”

However, Cook accepted England would need to improve vastly on Wednesday’s lacklustre effort if they were to be World Cup contenders.

“Obviously, if we play like that we’re not going to win many games of cricket.

“But the talent in the changing room is there..It’s frustrating. We weren’t quite at the races and I don’t quite know why.”

West Indies match washed out

BASSETERRE, Saint Kitts and Nevis // Heavy rain and a damp pitch forced the abandonment of the one-off Twenty20 international between the West Indies and Bangladesh at Warner Park in St Kitts on Wednesday.

Play was halted by torrential showers with Bangladesh at 31 without loss off 4.4 overs batting first.

The West Indies won the preceding one-day series 3-0 and the sides will now play two Tests at Kingstown in St Vincent from September 5-9 and at Gros Islet, St Lucia from September 13-17.

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