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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Alastair Cook hopes Kevin Pietersen equation will heal over time

Retiring opener insists he was not the man primarily responsible for the ouster of his former teammate in 2014

Alastair Cook, left, and Kevin Pietersen have not spoken to each other since 2014. Reuters

Retiring England batsman Alastair Cook hopes that his strained relationship with former teammate Kevin Pietersen can improve over time even though the pair have not spoken in four years.

South Africa-born Pietersen was dismissed by England in 2014 after the ill-fated Ashes tour in Australia, during which the maverick batsman was accused of being disengaged from the team as the tourists crashed to a 5-0 defeat.

"I haven't spoken to him since that day but I think time is a great healer," Cook told BBC Radio's Test match special.

"We spent a lot of time together and created some amazing memories. The thing is, we never fell out. Since then, the internet has fallen out for us.

"As two blokes, if you take cricket out of it, we have never fallen out. He will have a different opinion, I'm sure," he added of the batsman who brought the curtain down on his own playing career in March.

Cook, who will retire from international cricket after the fifth and final Test against India starting on Friday, said that as captain, he was involved in the decision to dismiss Pietersen but the final call was collectively taken by senior England and Wales Cricket Board figures.

"I'd refute anyone saying that I was the one that chucked him down the stairs, but I was involved in the decision and I believed it was right at that time," Cook added.

"Looking back, I can safely say all the decisions I made were done for the best of the England cricket team at that time. On that one, there were a lot of other people, way above my head, also involved in it."

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