England captain Alastair Cook will sit out the forthcoming one-day series in the West Indies as he prepares to hold talks with senior team management over the "route forward" following a miserable tour of Australia.
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Cook's absence from the three ODIs in the Caribbean is a move calculated to give Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad and limited-overs coach Ashley Giles the time to prepare for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh starting in March.
Instead, Cook will spend the next few months recuperating from defeats in the Ashes and in the subsequent one-day matches - by an aggregate of 9-1 - and plotting how improvements can be made with team director Andy Flower and managing director Paul Downton.
He has indicated his own intention to stay on as captain, after appearing to be considering his position following the decisive one-day loss in Sydney.
However, when asked if he would be captain against the West Indies following the five-run loss in the final ODI in Adelaide, Cook told Sky Sports: "No I won't be. The Twenty20 guys have got their World Cup in Bangladesh and I think we see it as a great six weeks for them to start building the team.
"They're never together very often and it gives them, and Broady and 'Gilo', time to really have six weeks together to build for Bangladesh."
Cook is looking forward to some time away from cricket, before discussions begin over how to rebuild following the disappointments of the winter.
"It has been a challenging tour for me. I can't not say that," he admitted.
"It's been a real tough tour for me. I am not exhausted, but I'm ready to put the pads away for a couple of weeks or so.
"I will enjoy seeing my pregnant wife. I'll enjoy seeing a few sheep (on the family farm) for a bit."
Cook revealed any meeting with Flower, when the future of players such as Kevin Pietersen is also set to be on the agenda, would take place in the coming weeks.
"I'll just have a little bit of time off and then we'll start making plans," he said.
"It's quite hard to say here when I'm 15,000 miles away and jet lag to come. I've been speaking to Andy, like you do, and over the next week or so I'll meet up with him personally and we'll plan our route forward."
Giles also gave his backing to Cook staying on as one-day captain.
"Absolutely. We are standing here and we realistically could have won the series. We could have won it 3-2. That's not all down to the captain."
On the West Indies tour, Giles added: "The plan is we are playing three one-day games there but with the T20 World Cup we are probably going to pick a T20 squad which gives us a good preparation time running into Bangladesh. It's likely that Stuart Broad will captain that side."
Cook plans to use the time away to fine-tune the problems that have surfaced over the course of the Australia tour - his last half-century was during the Boxing Day Test.
"You know that hunger comes back quickly," he said.
"I've got a couple of months off here where I can do some really solid work on my game."
Australia captain Michael Clarke suspected that Cook and his England team-mates were ready to go home, but shied away from suggesting they would be permanently scarred by their winter defeats.
"I don't know the answer to that question," he said.
"There will be a few English players keen to get on that plane tomorrow that's for sure - and keen to get away and spend some time away from the game.
"I know what it feels like to lose a series as a captain.
"It's certainly tough and you take it to heart and you take it quite personally. I'm sure Cookie will be looking forward to getting home and having a break.
"They're a good team and he's a good player.
"I've no doubt that the next time we come up against England they will be as tough as always.
"That's the one thing I do know. They're always tough in any form of the game. If you take them lightly they'll run over you."
Victory moved Clarke's team back to the top of the one-day rankings - on Australia Day - and the captain believes that was just reward after snatching victory away.
"That's as satisfying a win as we've had recently as a one-day unit," he said.
"Winning tonight shows the confidence we have. We still have a few players out resting. We believe we can win no matter what position we are in.
"We haven't played our best cricket but we've found ways to win."