WC 2003 - Hussain resigns as Eng ODI captain following WC exit

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2003, 2:10 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Nasser Hussain resigned as England's One-day captain in PortElizabeth on Tuesday following the team's first round exit from the WorldCup.Hussain, who said he intended to take a two-month break from all cricket andwanted to carry on as Test captain, told reporters, "I have twisted and turned. "I firmly believe that England is a better side with me as captain. But I also believeits time for someone else to come in and be looked at as a future England captain."Zimbabwe's washed out pool A match against Pakistan in Bulawayo saw Englandand the Asian giants go out of the World Cup. And Hussain, speaking in PortElizabeth where England lost its final World Cup Group A match againstAustralia on Sunday, said now was the right time to step down from the One-daycaptaincy."I'm not going to do a Shane Warne and read out something on a piece of paper.I've always spoken from the heart. I believe the time has come to step down asEngland One-day captain."I reiterate that's just for One-day cricket. I am firmly 100 percent dedicated to theTest match side of the game and I would like to carry on as England Test matchcaptain."The bottom line is that I'm 35 this month and there must be people out there whocan average more than 30 and get a better strike rate than 67," said Hussainreferring to his modest One-day International record."There must be some good young lads out there who can come in because there's acore of players here that are very fine players who can take England on in theOne-day game."There must be a good young captain out there who can replace me in the Testmatch side whenever that might be and it gives the selectors a chance to look atthat," said Hussain who added he was quitting One-day International cricketaltogether."But I'm very keen to carry on in the Test match side of the job. I believe that myteam has always responded to me, you only have to look at the last few games. ButI also believe that I don't warrant a place in the (One-day) side anymore and I thinkit's time England moved on."I'm a reasonably honourable man and I've always said to you that when I get a gutfeeling that a certain thing is the right thing to do I will do it." Hussain had looked increasingly worn down by the crisis over England'scontroversial boycott of its World Cup match in Harare - a decision which sawZimbabwe collect four points for victory by forfeit."I'm mentally and physically drained after this winter," said Hussain, also in chargefor England's pre-World Cup thrashing in Australia. "I intend to take two monthscompletely off from the game. It's been difficult but everyone in life has difficultthings. That's part of the learning curve."Hussain said he had no regrets about not playing in Zimbabwe. "I was reading in thepaper this morning about how fifty people were locked up because they protestedat the Holland-Zimbabwe game."You just don't know what would have happened if England had gone there and weweren't willing to take that risk. Good luck to Zimbabwe. It has done nothingwrong. I hope it does well."But we didn't get through again (England was knocked out at the first round stageon home soil four years ago) and it's very disappointing." Copyright AFP 2001


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