CRICKET

Pietersen quits as England captain

Kevin Pietersen (pictured) has confirmed his resignation from the English cricket team after a feud between himself and team coach Peter Moores, whose ability he questioned.

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AFP - England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen announced his resignation with immediate effect in a statement on Wednesday.

But he denied he had made any comments to the media about his relationships with other members of the England squad, notably with team coach Peter Moores - whose credentials for that job Pietersen had publicly questioned.

Following press speculation he said: "I ...consider it would be extremely difficult for me to continue my current position with the England cricket team.

"Accordingly I have as of this morning decided to stand down as England captain with immediate effect," he said.

But he said: "Notwithstanding my resignation as England captain I fully intend to be part part of both England's one-day international squad to tour the West Indies next month, and to do all I can to recapture the Ashes during the summer," he added.

"I'm extremely sad and disappointed to have to relinquish the captaincy at such an early stage especially in a crucial year for England cricket in such circumstances, and particularly when I feel that I have had much more to offer the England team as captain.

He voiced hope that "this decision will not effect my determination to continue playing international cricket for England."

The statement was issued shortly before an emergency press conference at the Oval cricket ground in London, after a day of confusion following reports that both Pietersen and Moores had quit over a feud.

South African-born Pietersen had questioned the ability of Moores - who never played international cricket himself - as a coach in a dispute which became public just weeks before England depart on January 21 for their tour of the West Indies.

But Pietersen insisted in his statement: "At no time, contrary to press speculation, have I released any unauthorised information to the media regarding my relationships with players, coaches and the ECB itself."

An earlier report on Sky News said Moores had resigned as well but this had still to be confirmed or denied by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

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