Pietersen did not enjoy support of team

January 8th, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 8 (IANS) Kevin Pietersen did not resign on his own but was given a choice to either step down from captaincy or face sacking after England cricket managing director Hugh Morris found that he did not enjoy the team’s support.Pietersen had reportedly told the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he would no longer work with coach Peter Moores, with whom he had a fall-out on many issues including Michael Vaughan’s exclusion from the West Indies tour.

But, far from backing their captain, as Pietersen expected his bosses to do, Morris told the captain that his position was untenable and gave him the chance to resign. Otherwise it was made clear he would be sacked, the Daily Mail reports.

ECB were widely expected to back Pietersen but when Morris started canvassing senior players and the coaching staff, it emerged that Pietersen did not have the support of the hugely influential Andrew Flintoff and the bulk of the other senior men, the report said.

So Pietersen finally fell on his sword, issuing a terse statement defending his conduct after a day of intense speculation.

Moores, hastily appointed to succeed Duncan Fletcher after the 2007 World Cup, was told by his great friend Morris it would be impossible for him to continue but refused to join Pietersen in resigning.

The South African-born batsman flew home London Thursday following a disastrous day for England cricket which culminated with the loss of both their captain and coach and can only seriously undermine their chances of winning back the Ashes this summer.

Andrew Strauss faces an almighty challenge to restore unity after being appointed the new England captain, starting with the tour of the West Indies this month.

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