Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Pietersen quits captaincy: report

AFP , LONDON

Kevin Pietersen has resigned as England captain and Peter Moores has stepped down as team coach after their working relationship broke down, Sky News reported yesterday.

South African-born batsman Pietersen had questioned Moores’ ability as a top-level international coach in a dispute which became public.

Officials had been keen to have the dispute between the duo resolved before the England squad travelled to the Caribbean on Jan. 21 for their four-Test tour of the West Indies.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were unable to confirm the Sky report although they were expected to make a public comment later yesterday.

Pietersen gave credence to longstanding rumors that his relationship with Moores was in trouble by telling Sunday’s News of the World newspaper: “This situation is not healthy, we have to make sure it is settled as soon as possible and certainly before we fly off to the West Indies.”

“Everybody has to have the same aims and pull in the same direction for the good of the England team,” he said.

Star batsman Pietersen apparently resigned by telephone from South Africa where he is on holiday.

The 28-year-old was not due to arrive back in England until today.

It is understood the ECB board considered a report by Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, after the former Test batsman had spoken to both Pietersen and Moores, as well as others involved with the England team.

Spin bowler Shaun Udal, who has played alongside Pietersen for both Hampshire and England, told Sky News: “I am totally shocked. It’s all very, very sad.”

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