SPORT TALK: Captain Cook goes from zero to hero

New skipper: Alastair Cook. Photo by Gareth Copley
New skipper: Alastair Cook. Photo by Gareth Copley

SOMETIMES the powers that be in English cricket really do amaze me.

At the start of the year Alastair Cook wasn’t deemed good enough to go to the World Cup, despite a man of the series performance in the Ashes that yielded 766 runs.

Yet after Andrew Strauss’ decision to step down as one day skipper, the Essex opener has been thrown the captaincy in the 50 over version of the sport.

I’d suggest that Cook is an excellent choice for the role. But if the ECB selectors agree, why was he behind pie-throwing duo James Tredwell and Michael Yardy and the increasingly erratic Luke Wright in the pecking order for a place in the 15 man World Cup squad?

It also beggars belief that big-hitting wicket keeper Craig Kieswetter seems to have fallen out of favour.

After starring in England’s Twenty20 World Cup win last year, he was also binned off by the selectors.

Speaking of T20, I see Stuart Broad is now captain in that form of the game. I’ll reserve judgement on that one.

Broad is clearly a talented player, but he seems to have a petulant side and you have to worry about the red mist descending when the going gets tough.

Now England have three different captains in the three different forms of the game.

Too many Cooks, perhaps?

•Speaking of questionable decisions, which genius at the Football Association decided to have a full programme of Premier League fixtures on FA Cup final day?

You have to feel for fans of Stoke and Manchester City. Anybody that follows their club around the country simply won’t be watching what is supposed to be the showpiece event of the English season.

It’s also a farce that Manchester United will likely seal the Premier League title just moments before City begin their bid to end a 35-year trophy drought and attempt to step out of their rivals’ shadow.

Personally I hope they get the job done. It’s hard to back the underdog when they are hoof merchants Stoke, who are perhaps the ugliest team in Premiership history.

•Sticking with football, the whole QPR debacle really was a shambles.

It stinks that Neil Warnock’s side got away with breaking the rules so blatantly, but it was the incompetence of the FA that was more worrying.

They took two years to decide that billionaire-owned Rangers should be fined less than a million quid. That’s really going to teach them.