Pietersen to lead England in place of banned Collingwood

June 27th, 2008 - 11:39 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 27 (IANS) Kevin Pietersen will lead England in place of banned Paul Collingwood in the final one-day International against New Zealand here Saturday. Collingwood Wednesday became the first English player to earn a ban from the International Cricket Council (ICC). He was handed a four-match suspension for England’s slow over rate during the defeat at the Oval.

He drew plenty of criticism from fans and experts after his refusal to call back New Zealand’s Grant Elliott, who was run out after a collision with English bowler Ryan Sidebottom in Wednesday’s match.

Pietersen will also be in line to reprise the job for the other three matches that Collingwood is due to miss - one against Scotland, and two against South Africa.

England faces a must-win situation at the finals in Lord’s Saturday to level the series 2-2. It is indeed a daunting task for Pietersen but the batsman says he feels humbled by the appointment.

“Captaining England has been a dream of mine, but I also understand that I’m assuming the role in Paul’s absence as he is the captain and leader of the one-day side. ” Pietersen was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

England’s Test captain, Michael Vaughan has also supported to the appointment. “KP (Pietersen) has the respect of the players, which is important,” Vaughan said.

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