Unfortunate circumstances forced me to resign: Pieterson

January 8th, 2009 - 3:47 am ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 8 (IANS) Kevin Pietersen Wednesday confirmed he quit as England cricket team capitan after his relationship with Moores soured to a point of no return, British media reported. “Contrary to media speculation today (Wednesday), I wish to make it very clear that I did not resign as captain of the England cricket team this morning,” he was quoted as saying in The Times, London.

“However, in light of recent communications with the ECB, and the unfortunate media stories and speculation that have subsequently appeared, I now consider that it would be extremely difficult for me to continue in my current position with the England cricket team. Accordingly, I have as of this afternoon decided to stand down as England captain with immediate effect.

“Notwithstanding my resignation as England captain, I still fully intend to be a part of both England’s Test and one-day international squad to tour the West Indies next month and to do all I can to recapture the Ashes during the summer.”

It is unclear whether Pietersen quit the job on his own volition or was forced to go.

“I wish to add that I have principles in my professional and personal life as to how things are done and during my time as England captain I have always been both helpful and direct in my communications with the ECB,” Pietersen continued.

“At no time, contrary to press speculation, have I released any unauthorised information to the media regarding my relationships with the players, coaches and the ECB itself.”

“I am extremely sad and disappointed to have to relinquish the captaincy at such an early stage, especially in a crucial year for English cricket, in such circumstances and particularly when I feel that I have much more to offer the England team as captain,” Pietersen said, adding that his decision “will not affect my determination to continue playing international cricket for England.”

Pietersen had grave doubts over Moores’ capabilities to coach an international side and he made no secret of it. He even told the ECB that it would be difficult for him to lead the side under the present team management.

ECB bosses were keen to resolve the matter and Morris delivered his assessment to an emergency meeting of the ECB board last night after talking to Moores’ coaching staff as well as senior players.

The pair did not see eye to eye from the start, with reasons for their dispute ranging from a clash of personalities to Pietersen’s lack of respect for Moores’ tactical credentials, technical know-how and playing career, to the captain’s dissatisfaction with Michael Vaughan’s omission from the tour to the West Indies.

Pietersen was appointed last year after Vaughan resigned, England having already lost a series to South Africa. The batsman led the team to a victory in the final Test of that series but England lost the recent two-Test series in India 1-0 and there was criticism that, despite his batting skills, he was tactically naive as a captain.

Before leaving for his two-week vacation, Pietersen told Moores that he wanted Vaughan recalled to the squad for the West Indies tour even though the Yorkshire batsman had been out of form and had hardly played for the past four months.

Vaughan was left out of the squad despite Pietersen’s request and, since then, reports of his disputes with Moores have dominated headlines and news reports.

Strauss was the alternative candidate to Andrew Flintoff to lead England in Australia in 2006-07 and again when Pietersen succeeded Vaughan last August. His moment as England captain appears to have arrived and many will feel it is not before time.

Pietersen may have overplayed his hand and be disillusioned by the lack of support he has been given, but at least by jumping before he was pushed he can claim to have saved some face.

Mike Atherton, writing at the time of Pietersen’s appointment as captain, said the ECB’s decision was their biggest gamble ever and that his relationship with Moores would determine the success of his tenure.

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