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Cricket: Cook still unable to lift lid on Pietersen axe

England captain Alastair Cook said Tuesday he was "frustrated" at his inability to reveal the reasons behind Kevin Pietersen's international exile, although he promised all would become clear "soon". Despite being England's all-time leading run scorer across all formats, South Africa-born Pietersen was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board in February following the team's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

Cricket: Under-fire Cook to reconsider England captaincy

England captain Alastair Cook has admitted for the first time that he will reconsider his leadership role after eight successive defeats to Australia. The hosts emphatically beat England on Sunday night by seven wickets with 10 overs to spare to seal the one-day series 3-0 and leave two dead matches still to play. Coming on top of a 5-0 Ashes whitewash, Cook said he would review his position as skipper once the tour is over. "I think I am going to have to make a decision on that stuff after we take stock after the next two games," Cook told reporters.

Cricket: Clarke defends embattled Cook

Australian captain Michael Clarke defended his embattled English counterpart Alastair Cook after winning the third Test to regain the Ashes at the WACA Ground on Tuesday. Clarke, beaten 3-0 in England just months ago, said he had plenty of empathy for Cook, who faced questions in the post-match press conference about both his leadership and his form with the bat. "I know what Alastair feels like at the moment," Clarke said. "You know, it wasn't that long ago that I sat in the same position."

Cricket: New Zealand look to contain 'genius' Cook

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum on Wednesday praised the "genius" Alastair Cook, saying that England's free-scoring captain was second only to Australian legend Don Bradman on current form. Ahead of the second Test in Wellington, McCullum said the Black Caps were keen to maintain momentum after the drawn first match in Dunedin. The English tourists escaped with a draw after more than a day's play was lost to rain.

Cricket: Broad treble cheers England captain Cook

England Test captain Alastair Cook was heartened to see Stuart Broad show something like his best form after the pace-bowling all-rounder took a hat-trick on Tuesday. Broad, England's Twenty20 skipper, struck as his side enjoyed a convincing 46-run win over a New Zealand XI in their first match of a tour where Cook will take charge for the subsequent one-day and Test series against the Black Caps.
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