MONDAY POLL: Cook and Moores ‘will steer England ship’, says captain

Managing Director of England Cricket Paul Downton (left) and New England Cricket Head Coach Peter Moores
Managing Director of England Cricket Paul Downton (left) and New England Cricket Head Coach Peter Moores
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Alastair Cook insists he and returning head coach Peter Moores will be free to forge a new England without undue influence from Andy Flower.

Moores, who was sacked from the same job in 2009 after less than two years in charge, will join captain Cook in attempting to reinvigorate a side that has limped to the lowest of ebbs this winter.

The task in front of the pair is a sizeable one, with a raft of decorated senior players having exited the stage and a winter of dreadful results – including an Ashes whitewash – to put right.

Flower, having resigned from his role as team director following the debacle Down Under, remains on the England and Wales Cricket Board’s payroll and enjoys good relations with both Cook and Moores, under whom he worked as batting coach before inheriting the top job.

England also want former Yorkshire Second XI coach Paul Farbrace, who won the World Twenty20 with Sri Lanka, to be the assistant to Moores.

But Farbrace’s current employers, due to tour England next month, appear not so enamoured by the turn of events.

ECB managing director Paul Downton could therefore only say: “We are in advanced negotiations to appoint an assistant coach. At this stage, with due respect to his current employers, we’re not going to make an announcement on that. We hope to be able to do so soon.”

The exact scope of Flower’s new post, technical director of elite coaching, is not yet clear but Cook is clear that the rebuilding of the senior England side will be squarely down to him and Moores.

“Look, I think it’s going to be our team,” said Cook. “Certainly we have to work very closely together, and I think you see when two (people) work together very well and they build something over a period of time how successful something can be if they’re on the same page.

“Obviously me and Mooresy have got to chat about it, but I have been consulted throughout the interview process. I’m sure we pretty much sing off the same hymn sheet, otherwise I don’t think he would have been appointed.

“Me and (Flower) get on really well and we have been in contact over the last couple of months, working on things with my captaincy, and I think having him as an adviser on that is something he wants to do and I want to do.

“But me and Mooresy have to be totally clear on what we want to do: me and him will steer the ship. Andy won’t be making decisions behind our backs.” Cook also suggested that the new regime would be looking to Stuart Lancaster and his England rugby union team for pointers on rebuilding.

When Lancaster took over the national side he did so by injecting new blood, driving home a back-to-basics ethos and breaking down some of the walls his predecessor Martin Johnson had built around the squad.

For an England cricket team that many feel had become suffocated by Flower’s intense methods, it could well be a template that Cook and Moores lean on.

“(Look at) the way Peter described it...making people proud of the way we go about our business,” said Cook.

“Yes, it is a results driven business, we know that, but also the way we communicate with the public.

“The England rugby team has evolved particularly well and it would be wrong not to look at the way they’ve done that.

“That kind of stuff, the Englishness, the legacy you want to leave behind of the culture we want to create.”

Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie yesterday backed Farbrace to strike up a productive partnership with Moores, saying appointing Farbrace would represent “a very smart move”.