England cricket hit as captain and coach resign: report (Lead)January 7th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 7 (IANS) England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores have resigned after a public falling out, Sky News reported Wednesday quoting unnamed sources.Although the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was yet to confirm the news, Sky said a “significant number” of team members came out in support of Moores at an emergency meeting Tuesday night aimed at resolving a row between the two men.
The television channel said some players saw Pietersen as “tactically naïve” - something that was reportedly highlighted in last year’s Chennai Test, which was won by India in spite of England being in the drivers’ seat for most of the match.
However, according to cricket writers, the England skipper is said to have blamed the coach for the Chennai loss.
They say Pietersen is upset by the selectors’ decision not to include batsman Michael Vaughan in the England squad for upcoming tours, and threatened to quit last week if ECB did not sack Moores.
Sky commentator and former England player Bob Willis described the reported resignation as a “huge shock”, adding: “It doesn’t bode well for the ECB at all. It’s the last thing England needs in the runup to the Ashes.”
According to reports, Hugh Morris, the director of England cricket, had been canvassing opinion among England’s senior players following Pietersen’s criticism of Moores.
“The reports he received did not back up the captain’s belief that Moores was chiefly responsible for England’s problems,” the Daily Telegraph reported on its online edition.
In comments published Sunday, Pietersen said: “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.”
Batsman Andrew Strauss is said to be a strong favourite to lead the Test side in place of Pietersen in the upcoming series in the Caribbean, as well as the Ashes. However, all rounder Andrew Flintoff is also said to be in the running, especially as Strauss is not a member of England’s one-day side.