After Alastair Cook’s emotional but not all that surprising revelation that he is to retire from international cricket after making his debut some 12 years ago, the cricket world was undoubtedly in mourning. Cook is renowned for not only being one of the greatest run scorers in the history of the modern game but for also being a leader in the dressing room as well as being one of the nice guys of the game. With such a talented cricketer and role model departing the English cricketing set-up for good, can the team cope without him and find an adequate replacement?
Since Andrew Strauss quit international cricket, Alastair Cook has had more cricketing partners than you can shake a stump at. The fact of the matter is that it’s been six years since Strauss called it a day and England have yet to replace him or find an adequate partner for Cook and this should give you some indication of the job facing those tasked with replacing the departing captain. Of course, there are a few standout candidates to replace Cook – Rory Burns has been particularly prolific in county cricket in recent years and James Vince must still surely be in the frame despite his questionable technique when facing the new ball in his last outing for the international side.
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The Future Is Youth
When such a key figure calls it a day, avid cricket fans almost always collectively risk whiplash by scanning round to see what’s waiting in the wings in terms of youth and, for England, there are a number of talented prospects who could make the step up in the coming years. For now, though, players such as Sam Curran are leading the way and proving that the exuberance of youth still exists and that a fearless and attacking approach can still pay dividends on the international stage. England have drifted out to 13/8 with the latest cricket odds to win the ashes in 2019 and, if the team is to wrestle the urn back, then players such as Curran or even Joe Clarke could be called upon to prove that England’s talent pool is still as large as ever.
Where Will Cricket Itself Be In 20 Years?
Just like any other international or club team, England will have to adapt to the changing cricket landscape and it’s not really known how that will look in the future. For all of the furore surrounding the “Test cricket is dying” argument, Test crowds are higher in England than they have been for half a century and there are sufficient grounds for optimism surrounding the future of the five-day format. Nevertheless, English cricket will have to adapt to the changing face of the modern game in order to survive and the next couple of decades will demonstrate just how healthy the international set up is.
Players Come and Go
As unfortunate as Alastair Cook’s departure from international cricket is, there have been a number of players over the years who have appeared irreplaceable upon retirement. However, there’s always someone waiting in the wings and who knows, maybe the next Strauss, Cook, Atherton or Vaughan hasn’t even picked up a cricket bat yet? One thing’s for certain, it’s going to be an interesting few years for English cricket and we can’t wait to see how it all pans out.