Alastair Cook was part of the group that sacked Kevin Pietersen
Alastair Cook stood down as England captain yesterday after nearly five highly successful years in charge.
Cook won series in India and Australia but admitted that the controversial removal of Pietersen in the aftermath of the 5-0 Ashes whitewash in 2013/14 was one of his toughest moments in charge.
"We all have regrets over how it was handled," Cook told Sky Sports.
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"I was part of that decision.
"I wasn't the be-all and end-all of it but that's the responsibility you have as England captain.
"The fallout of it wasn't great for English cricket.
"We were all over the headlines for the wrong reasons.
"Our job as players is to try to promote the game as best we can.
"It wasn't the best six months but things have moved on.
"Since Andrew Strauss has come in, he's made things very clear and the side has moved on."
Cook has captained England 59 times in Tests but will now continue only as a batsman in the side, assuming he is selected for this summer's series against South Africa.
His resignation came after he had hinted during a difficult tour of India, which saw England lose the Test series 4-0, that he was already imagining a time when he could play without the burden of captaincy.
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And the Essex batsman also admitted that he would do whatever was best for the team.
Cook eventually told director of cricket Andrew Strauss earlier this month that he could not carry on in the role due to the pressure of the job.
"He was very honest with me from the start about some of the challenges about the role going forward and there are some significant challenges coming up and also how drained he was, it does take a lot out of you," Strauss said yesterday.
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"He felt this was the right time for new energy for some new thinking and some new ideas and someone to grab it with both hands.
"It was the right thing for him and also the right thing for the England cricket team."