Cook - KP hard to replace

England ODI captain reacts to batsman's retirement decision

Last Updated: 31/05/12 7:33pm

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Alastair Cook admits England's limited-overs teams will miss Kevin Pietersen after his decision to retire from both white-ball formats of the international game.

Pietersen, 31, a veteran of 127 ODIs and 36 T20Is since his debut in 2004, will now only be available to England in Test cricket.

Cook, who is captain in the 50-over format, had formed a promising opening partnership with Pietersen during the winter ODIs.

"Kev is very much his own man and every player and every player has the right to decide to retire. We do play a lot of cricket and Kev's been around for quite a long time now. Clearly he feels this is the best way to prolong his Test career."
Alastair Cook Quotes of the week

"As one-day captain, when you lose a very fine player, you are very disappointed," Cook told Sky Sports News HD.

"I certainly feel he has a lot to offer the one-day team but every player has the right to decide when to retire and Kev's chosen this moment to do it.

"It is a loss. In Pakistan, when he moved up to open the batting, we had a good partnership going.

Opportunity

"The one thing it does do is give another person an opportunity to try and join the one-day team.

"It is exciting times and the team will always move on but when you lose world-class players, they are hard to replace."

Cook has not attempted to change Pietersen's mind.

"Kev is very much his own man and every player and every player has the right to decide to retire," he added.

"We do play a lot of cricket and Kev's been around for quite a long time now. Clearly he feels this is the best way to prolong his Test career.

"Kev has played since 2005 and is slightly older than me. He knows his own mind and body and it's not really fair for me to comment, you'd have to hear from Kev."

Disappointment

Pietersen had wanted to play in the World Twenty20 in four months' time when England will defend the title they won in the Caribbean in 2010, an event at which Pietersen was named man of the tournament.

The terms of the England and Wales Cricket Board's central contracts means any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats automatically rules himself out of consideration for both, as planning for ODI and T20 formats is closely linked.

ECB managing director for England cricket Hugh Morris admitted the organisation was disappointed by the timing of Pietersen's decision.

"With four months to the Twenty20 World Cup, with all the planning that has gone into it, you can understand that (ECB disappointment)," said Cook.

"It gives us a limited space to try and change the plan, because Kev would have been a huge part of that at the top of the order."

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