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Fleming sacked as New Zealand Test captain for Vettori

Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2007, 12:09 [IST]
 
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Stephen Fleming has been dumped as New Zealand Test captain after a decade in favour of one-day skipper Daniel Vettori.

Fleming announced at the same time Tuesday he was retiring from one-day internationals and indicated he will soon end his Test career as well.

The 34-year-old, widely admired as one of the best skippers in world cricket, stepped down as one-day captain after this year's World Cup but said he wanted to continue his 10-year reign as Test skipper.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said Fleming was New Zealand's greatest ever captain but added it was time to look ahead.

"The selectors are looking to the future and have recommended that Daniel assume captaincy of the Test team as well as the one-day team," he said.

"Stephen was an outstanding captain and his legacy in the role sets a high standard for Daniel.

"I am sure Daniel will rise to the challenge and will bring his own particular skills and style to the role."

There has been recent speculation Fleming might join the rebel Indian Cricket League but he said he remained committed to the New Zealand team, despite his decision to retire from one-day internationals.

"While I would have wished to remain captain of the Test team, I can also understand why the selectors prefer to have a single captain for the Test, one-day and Twenty20 teams," Fleming said.

"I hold Daniel Vettori in high regard and will support him fully in his transition as Test captain.

"I shall continue playing Tests as long as I have the desire and skills required to contribute.

"However, it is likely that the coming New Zealand summer will be my last home series."

Vettori is currently captaining New Zealand in the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and will now lead his country in a two-Test series against South Africa in November.

New Zealand are also scheduled to face Bangladesh and England in home Test series over the 2007/8 season and Vaughan said it would "obviously be a major step for Stephen to play in a non-captaincy role."

"For him to accept the selectors' decision graciously and to remain committed to New Zealand cricket is a true measure of his character," he said.

Fleming captained the Test team to 28 wins and 25 draws from 80 matches after becoming New Zealand's youngest ever captain at the age of 23 in 1997.

As a batsman, in 104 Tests, the elegant left-hander scored 6,620 runs at an average of 39.64.

Fleming led the one-day team to 98 wins from 218 games over the past 10 years. He played 279 one-dayers, scoring 8,007 runs -- the highest total of any New Zealand batsman -- at an average of 32.41.

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