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01-08-2009, 12:11 PM #1
Pietersen resigns as England captain
According to reports on Sky News, Kevin Pietersen has resigned as England captain, following the ECB's emergency board meeting that took place on Tuesday evening to discuss his rift with Peter Moores.
The 12-man board met by teleconference on Tuesday night, raising the possibility that Pietersen, who had not been due back from his holiday in Africa until Thursday, would pay the price for his outspoken views on the future direction of the England team.
Now, however, it appears that Pietersen has taken his future into his own hands, and handed back the role he took on from Michael Vaughan barely five months ago.
Research conducted by the ECB in the last few days suggests that Pietersen does not have the steadfast support of his team-mates or the back-room staff. The majority of the England support staff are understood to be supportive of Moores while most of the players are underwhelmed by Pietersen's dramatic intervention, as Steve Harmison demonstrated with his ambivalent comments on Tuesday.
There is also some sympathy towards Moores who, it is understood, was given the authority to select the England captain when Paul Collingwood and Michael Vaughan resigned, and there are those within the set-up who feel that Pietersen has betrayed the coach's trust.
Attitudes towards Pietersen appeared to have hardened at board level. While few are completely convinced by Moores, they did not like the manner in which the captain has attempted to dictate events. As one board member told Cricinfo: "People who want to keep their jobs don't issue ultimatums. At this stage any outcome is possible."
Whether Moores' position is salvageable remains highly debatable, however. There has been little evidence of progress under his tenure and his credibility may now be damaged beyond repair. A double departure - Pietersen and Moores - is a growing possibility.
Meanwhile, the identity of Moores' immediate successor as coach has been shrouded in further confusion, after Warwickshire warned they may not necessarily keep Ashley Giles's job as the county's director of cricket open, should he be asked to fulfil a role as "stop-gap" coach in the Caribbean.
Though Warwickshire will not stand in GIles's way if he is offered the job, his involvement in the West Indies would rule him out of any involvement in Warwickshire's pre-season plans and the club want to minimise disruption in the dressing-room. Furthermore, it is feared that Giles could recruit Allan Donald - currently Warwickshire's first-team coach - to help him in the Caribbean.