Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

It's the Perfect Time to Call It a Day, Skip! ; TALKING CRICKET

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

It's the Perfect Time to Call It a Day, Skip! ; TALKING CRICKET

Article excerpt

NOW would be a very good time for Andrew Strauss to hand the England Test captaincy to Alastair Cook.

Having just lost the world No 1 ranking, battling for form with the bat and having to deal with the Kevin Pietersen fiasco, it is no wonder he is taking some time off now to spend with his family.

And I would urge him to spend the time thinking about his future.

Because in my eyes, this is a bloody good moment to pass on the reins.

Just think about it. He is a two-time Ashes-winning captain, he has just played his 100th Test match at Lord's, he has led England to the top of the world rankings. He could leave now, with the affection of the nation behind him.

Everybody has a shelf life and it is better to call it quits rather than go on too long and regret it 12 months down the line.

What he should do is sit down with coach Andy Flower, who knows him inside out, and ask should I carry on? Because Flower will know and will give him an honest answer.

Let's face it, if he does decide to stay on - and next year's Ashes series could be the carrot that encourages him to carry on - he has a hell of a job on his hands to sort out the KP farce.

I have been shot down several times for saying it, but I am all for giving people a second chance.

However, I think it is very doubtful Pietersen will ever play for England again.

I understand he will not be offered a new central contract by the ECB next month, and that is underlined by the fact he was left out of England's World Twenty20 squad.

If that's the case, it wouldn't be a surprise after what has gone on.

The feelings in the England dressing room over the situation are running really high - and you can understand why.

If, as it has been alleged, KP has sent text messages to members of the South Africa squad criticising the skipper and talking about how to get England players out then he has made it impossible for Strauss, Flower and the ECB. …

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