Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bopara: It's Up to Pietersen and Cook to Sort Things out; EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bopara: It's Up to Pietersen and Cook to Sort Things out; EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent

RAVI BOPARA hopes Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook can "sort things out" as the controversial batsman targets a recall to the England team. Pietersen will play for Surrey in the early weeks of the County Championship season in an attempt to convince the selectors to overturn the decision to cast him aside in February 2014.

Bopara knows both men well. He grew up with Cook at Essex and is one of the England players who is closest to Pietersen. While he chooses his words carefully, the all-rounder's thoughts are worth hearing as they are about Cook, who was angry at losing the one-day captaincy less than two months before England's failed World Cup campaign.

He told Standard Sport: "I know them both but I don't know how they get on. It's up to them to sort things out between themselves. You want the best team on the park but whatever they do is up to them. I have to say, though, that is doesn't really have anything to do with me, as it's not a relationship that will make a difference to my career.

"Would it have made a difference if Alastair Cook had been captain for the World Cup? Probably not. He was captain in Sri Lanka at the end of last year and we didn't perform well there.

"So I don't see why it would have made a huge difference to keep everything the same. It's not nice to be dropped but you cannot shout about it. You have to get your head down and work your way back in that's the way the system is."

Bopara himself remains sore about his treatment during the World Cup. The 29-year-old played regularly during the preparation matches for the tournament, only to find himself left out of the opening game against Australia.

He was not given a chance until England's final game against Afghanistan, when they had already been knocked out of the tournament. …

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