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England cricket in disarray as Pietersen, Moores quit

Published: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 10:25 [IST]
 
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Pietersen quits as Eng captain, coach fired

London: England's cricket establishment was in complete disarray on Wednesday after both captain Kevin Pietersen and team coach Peter Moores declared that they were quitting their respective posts as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has failed to resolve their differences.

Sky News quoted Pietersen as saying that: "I am not in a fit state to talk."

Moores'' decision to resign came as he faced growing criticism over the row and the development of the England team during his time as coach. The team has lost four of the seven series that it has contested under his stewardship.

Pietersen quit claiming the ECB did not act quickly enough over the affair.

Former England bowler Dominic Cork told Sky News: "English cricket is in disarray at the moment."

"Every year is important in Test cricket but this is a huge year and to have such turmoil going on a couple of weeks away from going to the West Indies is far from ideal," added Middlesex spinner Shaul Udal.

Former skipper Alec Stewart said: ""It''s about working with the authorities - in this case the ECB, the coach - planning for game practice sessions, etc. It appears Pietersen had a different outlook to Peter Moores in how they wanted the team to move foward."

The ECB met for an emergency meeting on the crisis last night.

A Sky News sports presenter, Jacquie Beltrau said: "England cricket is pretty angry the whole row became public. They don''t like their washing dirty linen in public. They wanted to keep this behind closed doors. It hasn''t been kept behind closed doors - and Kevin Pietersen has been quite outspoken about the whole thing. It seems like he''s probably thought if they''re not going to back me, I''m going to go."

England are scheduled to fly out to the Caribbean in two weeks - and face Australia in the Ashes later this year.

Earlier, it was reported that both Pietersen and Moores could be sacked after Hugh Morris was handed the mandate to sort out the civil war ripping the English team apart.

On Tuesday night, the support has shifted from backing the captain to making changes at the top of the national team''s management structure, The Telegraph reported.

The ECB hierarchy is believed to be angered by the fact that the pair''s differences have been aired in public.

Senior ECB figures were thought to be behind the captain at the start of this crisis, but it appears Morris'' report has shifted the emphasis.

Morris is a long time supporter of the coach, who has struggled to make the step up from county to international cricket, and he was told on Tuesday evening by the ECB to take whatever action he sees fit.

The ECB was to hold further meetings on Wednesday morning to discuss the legal ramifications of removing either Moores, or Pietersen, or both.

Morris has canvassed opinion among the England team and backroom staff, and it seems Pietersen does not have the wholesale backing of either the players or the coaches.

It appears the coaching staff has remained loyal to Moores, while some players have been angered by Pietersen''s perceived role in undermining the coach, the paper said.

Andrew Strauss, who has captained England previously, is the favourite to succeed Pietersen in the short term.

ANI

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