England head to Australia today for what they hope will be a victorious World Cup campaign and Lancashire pace ace James Anderson says they have to forget about former captain Alastair Cook.
The Test skipper lost his one-day job last month after five straight losses, with Eoin Morgan stepping up to lead the team Down Under.
Anderson admits to being “gutted” about what has happened to Cook but says there can be no scope for looking back as England look to finalise their preparations ahead of the tournament which starts on February 14.
“Alastair Cook is one of my closest friends in cricket and I know he was absolutely shattered to be sacked as England one-day captain,” Anderson said.
“To change the captain so close to the World Cup was a big call but the selectors clearly felt Cooky’s form with the bat had been too poor for too long.
“Whether it was the correct decision remains to be seen. If we win the tournament then, obviously, the decision will have been vindicated.
“I’m gutted for my mate. However, as brutal or heartless as it may sound, I can’t go to Australia worrying about how Cooky is feeling or wishing he was with us.
“My only consideration is to focus on helping the team in the Tri-series with Australia and India and then the World Cup that follows.
“Cooky has a couple of months now to try and get over the disappointment.
“I’m sure it will be hard watching the guys playing in the World Cup on TV but he must look forward to the Test matches in 2015.”
England start their schedule with a warm-up clash against an Australian Capital Territory XI on January 12, before meeting a Prime Minister’s XI two days later.
That side was named by Prime Minster Tony Abbott on Sunday, with former Australia batsman Mike Hussey named as captain.
Jason Behrendorff – an outside fancy for the World Cup is named – as are Australia internationals Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell.