Former England Test opener Geoffrey Boycott has launched a scathing assault on captain Alastair Cook following the tourists' five-wicket defeat to the West Indies in Barbados.
Boycott, who played 108 Tests for England and averaged better than 47 at the top of the order, wrote in his column for The Telegraph in the UK that Cook was “so up his own a---, he thinks he is untouchable as England captain and the only guy who can do the job”.
The 74-year-old went on to blast Cook’s criticism of incoming England Chairman Colin Graves, after the former Yorkshire boss labelled the West Indies ‘mediocre’ ahead of three-Test series.
Quick Single: Graves comments ‘never ideal’: Cook
“Every time Alastair Cook opens his mouth, he sticks his foot in it,” Boycott wrote.
“We lose a Test and fail to win a series, and he blames Colin Graves.
“Apparently, the next chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board saying before the tour began that we should beat a “mediocre West Indies team” or there should be an inquiry, stirred the West Indies to play above themselves.
“When England won in Grenada, there was no mention of the Graves remarks and how they had affected the West Indies players, but as soon as Cook’s men lost in Barbados it was Graves’s fault.
“Graves is going to be his new boss on May 15, yet it is unbelievable that Cook talks disrespectfully about him. Alastair is so up his own a---, he thinks he is untouchable as England captain and the only guy who can do the job.”
The former Test player's criticisms were not limited to those currently part of the England setup, with Boycott saying he feared "everything will stay the same" if Andrew Strauss is put in charge of reviving the country's cricket fortunes – as speculation continued about a coaching role for former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie.
Former captain Strauss appears to be the front-runner to fill the new position of England director of cricket, a post created by the England and Wales Cricket Board last month following Paul Downton's sacking as managing director.
Cook and Strauss were formidable at the top of the order // Getty Images
Strauss's fellow ex-England skippers Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart have also expressed an interest in the role.
But Vaughan appeared to rule himself out after being severely critical of the current set-up in a column for Monday's Daily Telegraph following England's defeat by the West Indies in the third Test in Barbados on Sunday.
Boycott, briefly England captain but best-known as an obdurate opening batsman, said the 38-year-old Strauss - who for several years was current skipper Alastair Cook's partner at the top of the order - was too close to the present regime to make the major changes needed.
"We have a cautious captain (Alastair Cook) and a cautious coach (Peter Moores). If it is Strauss, he's the same," Boycott told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.
"He likes Cook, so he's going to go with Cook and everything stays the same," added Boycott.
"Nothing changes, they'll just go on with the same people. Andrew Strauss will come in, Cook's his mate and everything will go on just the same. Sad."
Incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves takes up his post having previously held a similar position at Yorkshire, where he installed Gillespie as coach.
Last season Yorkshire, under Gillespie, won English cricket's first-class County Championship and talk that the one-time scourge of many an England top-order might replace Moores intensified when he turned down an approach from the West End Redbacks to become their coach.
Gillespie proved more than handful for England in 1998-99