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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Pietersen quits as England captain, coach fired

England captain Kevin Pietersen resigned and coach Peter Moores was sacked on Wednesday as English cricket staggered into the new year.

Pietersen issued a statement announcing his decision to stand down as captain, but to continue as a batsman, before flying home from a holiday in South Africa.

Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, later announced that Moores had been sacked in the wake of an "irretrievable breakdown" in the relationship between captain and coach.

Andrew Strauss was named as new captain with his first task seemingly to restore unity, with just two weeks before the team depart for a tour of West Indies and with an eagerly-awaited home Ashes series against Australia looming on the horizon.

After a day of media frenzy, Pietersen issued a statement signalling the end of his six-month reign as skipper.

"In light of recent communications with the England and Wales Cricket Board (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," Pietersen said.

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