Alastair Cook said England lost a great opportunity to do something special in the final of an ICC tournament. By losing Sunday's Champions Trophy final against India by just five runs, England's heartbreak of not winning a major 50-over tournament for four decades continued, leaving him devastated.
"As a captain I had high hopes of achieving something special. We had the opportunity but could not do it," Cook said in a post-match with reporters here on Sunday evening.
England collapsed chasing India's 129, losing four middle order wickets in a space of eight balls. With 20 to get off 16 balls and with six wickets standing, England simply choked in the home stretch. (Read: Match Report)
"You back yourselves to win than lose in most times from that position. That shows how close it can get in a T20 game," a dejected Cook said.
Bell's exit in the ninth over, according to Cook, was the turning point for England. The TV umpire gave Bell out stumped off Ravindra Jadeja's bowling after several replays showed the batsman apparently regained his crease after going for a drive.
"It was a poor decision. May be the TV umpire saw another angle," said the 28-year-old, adding: "It's an umpire's game." He didn't say whether his report to the ICC will mention this howler in the final of a world event. "It's all confidential," he said tongue-in-cheek.
Cook praised India's bowlers for defending a low score and admitted Bell's exit meant England lost a batsman who could bat till the last. "We do have to look at our batting, but I am proud of the lads who did well to make the finals," he said, adding the team faced lot of pressure and flak for their recent ODI performances. (Read: God helps those who helps themselves, says Dhoni)