Alastair Cook received notification on his mobile phone that the England and Wales Cricket Board want him to stay on as captain despite the unmitigated disaster of their Ashes campaign.
However, the embattled skipper isn’t naive enough to think that’s an iron-clad guarantee he’ll be in charge when England attempt to win back the urn on home soil in 2015.
“I was given the vote of confidence from the board which normally means in football terms you have two weeks and then you’re on your bike,” said Cook.
“Hopefully I can buck that trend.”
Cook hasn’t yet spoken to the England hierarchy – discovering his job was safe on the ECB website – but he is adamant he has the experience and the credentials to put the second 5-0 Ashes whitewash of his career behind him and take the team forward.
Australia will like their chances if that is the case, given Cook has averaged less than 30 in four of his five Ashes campaigns – the exception being the mammoth 766 runs at 127.67 he spat out in 2010-11.
Cook says having been there done that in 2006-07 when England were spanked 5-0, the 29-year-old is confident things can be turned around.
“I have a lot of experience as a player. I’ve seen a 5-0 before and I’ve seen the drive and determination that caused that England team,” he said.
“When you strip everything down every player has to go back and look at themselves … and desire has to come from within.
“I’m desperate to try and turn it around. I feel I’m the right man for the job … but if people higher up want a change I need to take that on the chin because results suggest that.”
Cook said the first step for his side was to take their medicine and enter the euphoric Australian sheds for a beer with their conquerors.
He singled out rookie allrounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Stuart Broad as the only men who could hold their head high on tour – but believes England have the young players to instil confidence that the future is bright.
“There’s a lot of places up for grabs when you lose 5-0 and it should be an inspiration for people outside the team and inside the team,” he said.
England’s capitulation to lose within three days at the SCG was a tour low point, but even Cook admitted it was a fitting end.
Senior players Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann failed to see the tour out and Stokes was the only batsman with an average over 30 and the only Englishman to score a century in the series.
Cook (7), Ian Bell (16) and Kevin Pietersen (6) folded inside the first 14 overs, as England collapsed to be all out for 166 and lose by 281 runs.
The trio all average over 45 in Test cricket, but failed to score a century between them this summer.
The highest wicket-taker, Swann, and highest run-scorer, Bell, from last year’s Ashes series were unable to land a blow.
“There is anger in me and frustration because for whatever reason we haven’t played very well and the buck stops with me on that front,” Cook said.