The truth behind Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali's on-air fued - Barmy Army Menu
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The truth behind Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali’s on-air fued

The on-air disagreement between Sir Alastair Cook and Moeen Ali was “a phony war” between “good buddies”, BT Sport presenter Matt Smith has revealed on the latest episode of The Shackles Are Off.

The debate between the pair broke out in the coverage of the fourth Ashes Test, when Mo suggested that Joe Root was a more empathetic captain than Cooky had been.

England’s all-time leading Test runscorer hit back by saying that he’d never dropped the off-spinning all-rounder – unlike the current skipper – and their feud was quickly picked up by the press and those on social media.

We were lucky enough to welcome Smith, who was present in the studio at the time, onto The Shackles Are Off podcast this week and he revealed the truth behind the situation.

“The truth is that they get on like a house on fire,” explained Smith. “They’re really good mates. I don’t think that will probably come as a shock to people that know their cricket.

“So, it’s been very much a false war. That said, I think they both tried to be honest.

“Mo, when he said ‘Joe’s a more arm around the shoulder captain but I never got dropped by Cooky’. I think he was just trying to be honest.

“And then Cooky was, very much tongue in cheek, slightly like ‘Oh, so I’m not empathetic’. It became this phony war but it was enjoyable.

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“It was enjoyable because I think teammates often understandably are totally reluctant to ever say anything insightful or honest about each other. It’s all platitudes and ‘he’s a great bloke’.

“Of course, these two – and I genuinely wouldn’t say it otherwise – genuinely are mates but it was refreshing I think that they were prepared to slightly take a chip out of each other and be honest about each other.

“They were amused that it had been turned into, partly because no one else had anything to talk about because the cricket was so rubbish, a story.

“Newspapers were picking up this idea of a fued in the studio and they were dreaming up new ways to take chunks out of each other in the next session or next day or whatever.

“But hand on heart, they are good buddies.”