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Steve Harmison blasts ECB over Alastair Cook decision

Steve Harmison labels ECB chief executive Paul Downton "ridiculous" after the sacking of Alastair Cook as England one-day captain.

Steve Harmison has criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board for their handling of Alastair Cook's removal as one-day captain.

Cook has been dropped from England's squad for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and was replaced by limited overs specialist Eoin Morgan.

However, former international fast bowler Harmison believes that much of the blame for the national team's current plight rests with ECB chief executive Paul Downton.

He told the Newcastle Chronicle: "Downton has made himself look ridiculous. Last week, he pointed out that the one time Alastair had a full-strength one-day side, England reached the Champions Trophy final. Fair enough.

"So why did he sack Ashley Giles as England's one-day coach – and selector – this year? Giles only once had a full-strength one-day side, and when he did England reached the Champions Trophy final. In the last 12 months the ECB have sacked [Kevin] Pietersen, England's best player ever, at the age of 33.

"I believe Cook didn't need one-day cricket in the summer, when he had so many other things to deal with. That's when the board should have told him to just concentrate on Test cricket."

Cook was given the England one-day captaincy after the resignation of Andrew Strauss in 2011.

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England's Kevin Pietersen leaves the pitch after losing his wicket for 6 runs during the third one day international (ODI) cricket match between England and Australia at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, central England on September 11, 2013
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