WATCH: Sir Alastair Cook exclusive interview with the Ashes, England's Cricket World Cup victory and Joe Root under discussion

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook speaks exclusively to Sporting Life on this summer's Cricket World Cup, the Ashes and Joe Root's future as skipper.


Click above or scroll down for the full video interview

Cook on a memorable year for Essex...

Sir Alastair Cook of Essex
Sir Alastair Cook of Essex celebrates the County Championship title

"We got a bit of momentum in the Championship - there was a block of nine games where we won seven out of nine and we played a lot of games at home in that period. We built and built and it was a fantastic Championship season. In the T20, we got a bit of luck. Again, we started slowly, got into the quarters via the back door and then Simon Harmer and Ravi Bopara were outstanding in those last five or six games and we won the trophy. It's been one of those seasons I don't think we'll ever forget."

Cook on County cricket...

"It's very competitive. The big thing I've noticed over the last three or four years is the results-based wickets that we play on. Most games are going three days maximum which means it's intense, it means you don't have those high-scoring draws very often which is probably something people maybe need to look at a little bit. Looking at the competition as a whole, away from the England team trying to produce Test players, it's unbelievable because every game is on a knife edge."

Cook on developing future Test cricketers...

"I feel a bit sorry for the younger players today. When I first started you only had to master one format so 90 per cent of the time, as a 14 or 15 year old, it was concentrating on red ball because that was the pinnacle. You only had to look at your pre-season and winter training - 90 per cent of your time was on red ball and 10 per cent on white ball but nowadays it's totally different. You are now reducing the amount of time you're practising on red ball so, therefore, techniques are going to be different. Counties aren't going to take on a young player now unless you can play both formats of the game."


Alastair Cook exclusive - Full video


Cook on Rory Burns and Joe Denly...

"I thought both of them did really well in tough, tough conditions. Again, the ball has done quite a lot in these English conditions and they were up against a fine, fine bowling attack. Both of them were brave - they got tested with the short ball - and they came through it. You saw their experience coming through."

Cook on Dom Sibley...

"If you score that many runs in a County Championship season you deserve your chance. He's [Sibley] always been earmarked since his double hundred early on for Surrey and the one thing that this summer has shown is that if you can face a lot of balls at the top of the order you can put miles in the bowlers legs and then cash in later. It's not about scoring at four an over in the first two sessions in Test match cricket, it's all about getting bowlers into their third and fourth spells, and Dom Sibley has faced almost 1500 more balls than anyone else in the County Championship this year."

Cook on England's top order...

"The game of Test cricket might be changing in terms of less draws but it's still played on the same principle, you do a lot of the donkey work early on and get your rewards late on day one if you're batting first or on day two when bowlers are into their fifth spells. You could have a top order of Burns, Denly and Sibley in New Zealand and their job will be to bat as many balls as they can to let the likes of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Joe Root slightly lower down the order push the accelerator and change games of cricket. But without those top three, those guys won't perform as well if they have to go in early."

Cook on Joe Root...

"It's been difficult because the focus has been so much on white-ball cricket. I was lucky as a captain that when we had an home Ashes series or an away Ashes series that was the focus but this year that hasn't been the focus. I felt sorry for him. Root's build up was ten days after the World Cup final which is not ideal but 2-2 against that Australia side is, I think, a really good result. It's another interesting period, with the new coach coming in, for Joe to take this side forward. He's desperate to do the job - you can see that in his eyes."

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