Controversial ex-England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen has snubbed his former teammate Alastair Cook by declining to take part in a video tribute to retiring Cook’s career.
A selection of congratulatory messages from 70 former teammates, lasting over 40 minutes, was compiled by the Professional Cricketers’ Association to celebrate the career of the great batsman, as he calls time on his career.
The edited version, lasting over 10 minutes, was shown to the team the day before Cook’s farewell appearance, against India.
While Pietersen is not the only former teammate absent from the video, according to the Daily Mail, he did not even reply to the PCA’s request, in what would appear to be a deliberate statement of his feelings towards Cook.
Cook recently claimed that he had been made to look responsible by the England and Wales Cricket Board, for Pietersen’s exclusion from the team, and subsequent retirement, following the humbling Ashes defeat in 2013-14.
The only other former teammates not to appear were Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Darren Pattinson, who are both currently overseas and Michael Carberry who was recently dismissed from his role as captain of Leicestershire.
Cook retiring, after a long and illustrious career, is comparable to former England football captain and record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney, who retired from international football in 2016.
No tribute has yet been made to Rooney, as his retirement coincided with England’s preparation for their 2018 World Cup campaign. And any attempt has been made even more difficult as he now plies his trade in the US, after a short stint at Everton.
Cook had asked for a lack of fuss, heading into his retirement and, Surrey, who are playing hosts to his final appearance, had responded with a bottle of French wine, fittingly dated 2006; the year that Cook made his England bow.
Despite his apparent desire for a quiet retirement, he said afterwards that he had found the tribute ‘incredibly humbling’ and went on to score 71 in the first innings on Friday as England closed day one on 198-7.