Pietersen resigns, Moores follows suit

England captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores reportedly quit on Wednesday following a series of disagreements between them.

updated: January 11, 2009 16:56 IST
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England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores reportedly quit on Wednesday following a series of disagreements between them, throwing preparations for this year's Ashes series into disarray.

Moores' departure had been expected after Pietersen publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the standard of his coaching and selection decisions.

Sky TV said Pietersen, the South African-born batsman, stepped down after just five months in the role because the England and Wales Cricket Board did not act quickly enough.

Sky and the Cricinfo Web site said that Moores quit following an emergency ECB board meeting late Tuesday, suggesting that Andy Flower would be put in temporary charge for a Test and one-day series against the West Indies that starts Jan. 21.

The ECB has declined to comment, although Cricinfo cited an unnamed ECB board member as saying the ruling body was unhappy at Pietersen trying to dictate policy.

Sky said it had spoken to Pietersen by telephone while he was on holiday in South Africa.

Pietersen said he was "not in a fit state to talk."

Director of cricket Hugh Morris and chief executive David Collier have been under pressure to find a solution to the conflict before the team flies to the Caribbean.

The West Indies also visits England this year before the five-Test Ashes series against Australia _ the biennial highlight of the cricket calendar for both sides. Australia won the last series 5-0 at home, but this year's series was expected to be a lot closer.

Andrew Strauss, who has captained England previously, was immediately made a 1-3 favorite by British bookmaker William Hill to succeed Pietersen. Allrounder Andrew Flintoff was captain for the disastrous Ashes defense last time around.

England had been rumored to be looking to Kent's former South Africa coach Graham Ford or Tom Moody, an Australia allrounder who coached Sri Lanka, to succeed Moores. But that was when the idea was to find a coach to work alongside Pietersen.

Pietersen was appointed captain after Michael Vaughan resigned following a home series loss to South Africa. He led the team to victory in the final Test of that series, but England lost a recent two-match series 1-0 in India and Pietersen has been criticized by some observers as being tactically naive.

Before leaving for a two-week break in South Africa following the tour of India, Pietersen told Moores he wanted Vaughan recalled to tour the West Indies despite the Yorkshire batsman hardly playing 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 on a daily basis.