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Cook: England players in 'shock' over Hughes

Cook admits he and his England team-mates are in 'shock' Credit: PA

Alastair Cook and his England team are in a state of shock at the plight of Australia batsman Phil Hughes, as they prepare for the start of their one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

The stricken Hughes has undergone emergency surgery and is an induced coma and critical condition after being felled by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Cook said: "Since we woke up this morning, the whole team have been in a bit of shock all day. All our thoughts and prayers are with Phillip."

Most of the England team have played against Hughes at some time, and three have been county colleagues in his stints at Middlesex and Worcestershire.

"Fingers crossed, he can show the same fight he's shown throughout his whole career and he can pull through," Cook added.

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Captain Cook to lead England one-day team in Sri Lanka

Alastair Cook will captain England on their seven-match one-day international tour of Sri Lanka this winter.

Captain Cook keeps his job. Credit: PA

Cook's position as ODI captain has been under scrutiny recently, with critics citing his mediocre batting strike-rate as a major concern.

But England's selectors have kept faith, naming him to lead a 16-man squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in November and December. Cook now looks certain to lead England in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand early next year.

Pietersen decision a move to 'invest' in Alastair Cook

Kevin Pietersen has been officially released from his central contract with the ECB. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed Kevin Pietersen has been released from his contract, as the side moved to "invest in our captain Alastair Cook".

Read: Kevin Pietersen's colourful England career in pictures

In a joint statement with the Professional Cricketers Association, the ECB said it had been a "matter of great frustration" that it had been unable to respond to "unwarranted and unpleasant criticism" during negotiations.

Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne had described the apparent decision as a "disgrace and a joke" for keeping Pietersen on the England side.

England should not be 'intimidated' by Brisbane venue

England have no reason to feel intimidated by the Brisbane venue for the first Ashes test, according to captain Alastair Cook.

England are bidding to win at the Brisbane Cricket Ground - known as the "Gabba" - for the first time in 25 years.

Cook said the experience of his side would help break that unwanted record:

"A lot of players in this squad were here in 2010/11 - we've all got experience of winning in Australia.

"We're trying to use that to the best of our ability, and we know how important this game was last time for setting up the series. We certainly don't fear anyone."

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Alastair Cook determined to win final Ashes Test

Captain Alastair Cook (right) is determined to win the final Ashes Test at the Oval. Credit: PA Wire

The bulk of the job may already be done, but England captain Alastair Cook is determined to deliver a final Ashes insult to Australia when the Test gets underway today.

Victory in Durham moved the hosts into a 3-0 series lead with one match to play, ensuring the urn would stay with England for the third time in a row.

Cook's side allowed themselves a well-earned celebration following their 74-run success last time out, but he was adamant there would be no loss of competitive edge at the Kia Oval.

He believes any Test match against Australia is reason enough to be at full tilt, but with the tantalising prospect of becoming the first England side to win a home Ashes 4-0 on the table, he expects his men to go in hungry for the win.

Cook wants to keep Britain's sporting success going

England cricket captain Alastair Cook wants to keep Britain's successful summer of sport going by beating Australia in the Ashes.

England captain Alastair Cook with Australia captain Michael Clarke holding an Ashes replica. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

After a weekend that saw Andy Murray become the first British male winner of Wimbledon in 77 years and the Lions first touring success since 1997, all eyes are on England's cricketers ahead of tomorrow's first Test at Trent Bridge.

Cook said: "In our dressing room there are a lot of big rugby and tennis fans and watching that as a British sports fan is fantastic.

"Huge congratulations to both the Lions and to Andy. It was an incredible moment for British sport when Andy won Wimbledon and when the Lions won after such a long period.

"But it doesn't have too much relevance, unfortunately, to what we're about to do. It's about how we play, not how Andy Murray played in that final. We'd love to be able to join them in that success but there's a lot of hard work to do first."

Prime Minister congratulates Cook on record ton

The Prime Minister has congratulated Alastair Cook on becoming the first England batsman to score 23 Test centuries:

England team mates Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann also joined the applause:

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