Slow-over rate sees England captain Alastair Cook hit with a ban

Skipper Alastair Cook has been banned for England’s fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka after they were found guilty of a slow over-rate in yesterday’s five-wicket win.

Eoin Morgan will take over as captain for their next match, on Sunday in Colombo.

England’s overdue success – just their second in nine ODIs – was bitter-sweet for Cook when it became clear he would be suspended.

Cook was also in charge in similar circumstances against India at Cardiff last summer and two such offences in 12 months bring a mandatory one-match ban.

England coach Peter Moores confirmed Morgan will deputise for Cook at the weekend and he is confident the Irishman’s poor recent form will not prove an issue in the long term.

He said: “Eoin’s a good player. He’ll have been through periods when he’s not quite hitting it [as he’d like].  The key is to believe in yourself and go out and play and Eoin will do that I’m sure.”

Cook has struggled with the bat, scoring only one ODI half century since the summer of last year, but featured in an opening stand of 84 with Moeen Ali yesterday, scoring 34 before he was dismissed.

He will be unable to build on that on Sunday and Moores said:  “It’s a shame for Alastair. I thought he played beautifully… he timed the ball really well.

“But one thing is that it cleans the slate for him, before we go to a World Cup because he had that ban hanging over him.”

Despite Cook’s absence, England can at last look back on a much-needed victory.

“It’s great to wake up when you’ve had a win,” Moores said. “Sometimes, the morning after is the time you really feel wins and losses. So it’s great to know we’re back in the series, at 2-1.”

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