Front Page







World News in Audio

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Wednesday, March 25, 1998 Published at 15:26 GMT

Sport: Cricket

Atherton resigns
image: [ Atherton after he scored 185 not out against South Africa ]
Atherton after he scored 185 not out against South Africa

Mike Atherton has stepped down as England's captain after seeing his team crash to a 3-1 series loss against the West Indies and his own batting averages for the six Tests tumble.

Michael Atherton says it is time to step down (20')
Atherton took the decision before the start of play in the final day at Antigua but only told his teammates after they had finally lost the match.

The search is now on for his successor with Adam Hollioake, vice-captain Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart all being tipped for one of the hardest jobs in sport.

Speaking minutes after Brian Lara received the Wisden Cricket trophy for his side's innings and 52 runs win over England, Atherton said: "A combination of our failure to win this series and my own form which has been well below my previous standards has led me to believe it is time for someone else to do the job.

[ image: Atherton's tour average was only 19.5 runs]
Atherton's tour average was only 19.5 runs
"I decided to step down as England captain after much consideration and after discussions with chairman of selectors David Graveney.

"The captaincy has never been a burden to me and I have enjoyed working with the players as captain."

Atherton led England for a record 52 Tests, passing Peter May's 41-Test mark against Australia at Lords last summer.

He won 13 Tests, lost 19 and drew 20 after he took over from Graham Gooch in July 1993.

But Atherton added that he will remain in the squad for the one-day matches and intended to fight for his place as a Test batsman.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: "It has been a privilege to work with Mike, first as a selector and then as chairman.

"He has shown great courage in undertaking an immense job.

"The ultimate judgement of a leader is the respect his fellow players have for him. That respect for Mike among the players has been total."

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


Link to BBC Homepage

  Comment on this story in today's Talking Point.  
  Relevant Stories

25 Mar 98 | Talking Point
Was Atherton right to go now?

25 Mar 98 | Sport
Are selectors stumped over new captain?

25 Mar 98 | Sport
West Indies take Test and series

24 Mar 98 | Sport
Rain delays start of play

16 Mar 98 | Sport
Rain destroys England's dream

12 Mar 98 | Sport
Caribbean heat on Atherton and Lara

02 Mar 98 | Sport
England slump to Test defeat

17 Feb 98 | Sport
England win a nail-biter

09 Feb 98 | Sport
West Indies win second Test

03 Feb 98 | Sport
Further grounds for concern

29 Jan 98 | Sport
First Test abandoned

30 Jan 98 | Sport
England to play back-to-back Tests

  Internet Links


Mike Atherton's career

Lords: The home of English cricket

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

Plucky England hang around

Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

Solanki breathes life into draw

Headley on the mend

Black player drafted for England match

Worcester keep faith with McGrath

England 'A' battle on

ECB war against racism

New Zealand series 'rigged' - claim

England crank up the pace

Butcher beefs up England total

England 'A' ease to victory

Cricket ticket plan for ethnic minorities

Aussie win welcomes Waugh junior

Caddick takes double honour

Gough returns for tour game

Butcher facing chop

England scramble to a draw

Indians make world record stand

Cricket legend Malcolm Marshall dies

Malcolm Marshall: Scourge of batsmen

At a glance: Marshall tributes

An energetic enthusiast for cricket

Mashud denies England A

Cricket Contents