Cook assured by support

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Alistair Cook admits that he thought about quitting as captain after England's Ashes demolition Alistair Cook admits that he thought about quitting as captain after England's Ashes demolition

Alastair Cook knows he is the "right guy" to continue as England captain - because two of his trusted team-mates have told him so.

England's Test and one-day international captain, set to lead his team out in Aberdeen in the 50-over format against Scotland on Friday, did no small amount of soul-searching after last winter's Ashes campaign went so badly wrong.

Other central figures in a previously successful regime have left their posts.

But Cook, such a binding force at the top of the order, is back for more in both roles at the start of a summer in which he and returning head coach Peter Moores must quickly rediscover a winning formula.

As he reflected on England's 5-0 drubbing in Australia, and the 4-1 ODI defeat which followed, Cook sought others' advice - and what came his way from Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad and his club-and-country team-mate Ravi Bopara settled any doubts.

"It's a huge honour to be captain of your national side," he said.

"It's a huge privilege and makes you feel very special - and you want to continue that.

"But you've got to be the best man for the job.

"When you're losing games of cricket you can doubt yourself.

"But I chatted a lot to Stuart Broad and Ravi in particular, and they said 'You must carry on, you're the right guy'.

"It's nice to hear that."

Cook did contemplate a resignation, but decided - less than two years into his captaincy, and with a series success in India and home Ashes victory also under his belt - he should continue.

"After a long, gruelling winter, I certainly gave it consideration - and I would have been wrong if I hadn't," he said.

"We lost a lot of games of cricket; we hadn't played to the standard that side were capable of, and the stuff we were doing wasn't making a difference.

"If you don't question yourself as a leader then, you never will."

There was, however, a steadfast union of backing behind him - led by the England and Wales Cricket Board's new managing director Paul Downton.

"It was great that a lot of members of the side were very supportive, and ECB and Paul Downton have backed me.

"I've got to repay that faith with good performances."

England have parted company, in the past three months, with a clutch of staff on and off the field - and the period of backroom renewal is not quite complete.

"We're still in the process, and it will get resolved pretty soon," said Cook.

Their opponents are also in a transitional phase, and will be watched at Mannofield by new coach Grant Bradburn.

The New Zealander is yet to officially take up the role, with acting incumbent Craig Wright set to become his assistant in July.

Kyle Coetzer's hosts therefore know they have an early opportunity to impress, as Scotland build for next year's World Cup - in which they will face, among others, England.

"The guys who play (here) will have the first crack at putting their hands up for the squad for next winter," said Wright.

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