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Page last updated at 06:14 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 07:14 UK

Vaughan quits as England captain


Vaughan was emotional as he stepped down as skipper

A tearful Michael Vaughan has resigned as England Test captain after five years, saying it was both the hardest and the easiest decision he had made.

Vaughan added: "I've put my heart and soul into the job but my head is telling me to pack it in."

He confirmed he would not play in the final Test at The Oval, where England face South Africa on Thursday.

Paul Collingwood has quit as one-day captain. A captain for Thursday's Test will be announced on Monday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board were in discussions on Sunday about whether the replacement would be temporary or permanent, but Vaughan will certainly not lead his side again.

It is a fairytale to captain your country but it hasn't had a fairytale ending

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan will take a short break from the game before returning to play for Yorkshire and he hopes to resume his England career as a batsman if he regains his best form.

There was no immediate confirmation, though much speculation, about whether Kevin Pietersen would take over as England's Test and one-day captain on a long-term basis.

National selector Geoff Miller ideally wants one man to do both jobs.

Vaughan, 33, made his Test debut in South Africa in 1999, and captained his country for the first time at Lord's.

He struggled to contain his emotions on two occasions as he answered questions from journalists at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough.

He said: "When I spoke to my dad this morning he said you can walk away a proud lad. So I really want to thank my mum and dad.

"I hope this decision will prolong my career. Hopefully this will make my last few years an exciting time. I won’t be at The Oval, I need a few weeks away from the game."

He revealed he had first considered resigning at the start of the year during the tour of New Zealand, when England came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1.

Vaughan said: "In New Zealand I had a few thoughts that I might go. It is a fairytale to captain your country but it hasn't had a fairytale ending. I know that it is the right time because my mind told me it was. My body is working well but my mind is not.

"I wish whoever gets the job all the luck in the world, it's a great privilege."

Vaughan's decision came a day after England lost the third Test to South Africa, and with it the series. It was their third series loss in their last five rubbers.

He went on: "We've beaten New Zealand twice but lost to three big teams. I want to take this little break and then come back and finish the season for Yorkshire.

"I have to score runs like everyone else and put myself in the frame for selection. I believe these will be the best years of my playing career. I won't hit any balls for a few weeks but then I want to come back and score some runs."

Aggers tips Pietersen for captaincy

He said his decision had shocked his team-mates, still crestfallen after events at Edgbaston on Saturday when England looked poised for victory at tea.

"It came as a huge surprise for the players. The one regret is that I didn't stand in front of them yesterday. They were completely gutted in the dressing room and I didn't have it in me. I hope they respect my decision."

Vaughan said he had made a decision earlier in the summer to quit if his team were unable to beat South Africa, and he delivered on his promise to himself.

He said: "There have been people who I have talked to but once your mind is made up it is hard to go back. I've always gone on my gut instinct – I've played my best innings on gut instinct – and this was the right time.

"I haven't been involved in any discussions [over the new captain]. I just had to make this decision because it was the right one.

"Whoever gets the privilege to captain his country will need a bit of time to establish himself as a lead. The England team really needs someone to lead them in the right direction.

"I've tried to be me throughout the whole period as captain. One of the things that has really hurt me in the last six months is that I haven't been me.

He took the England captaincy to new heights. Michael was the best possible ambassador for the game

Hugh Morris, England team managing director
"A big disappointment for me is that I haven't managed to get through to next year. Whoever gets the job will have about nine matches before the Ashes so he will be inexperienced but will have fresh ideas."

Hugh Morris, managing director of the England team, said of Vaughan: "He was undoubtedly the catalyst for regaining the Ashes in 2005.

"His legacy will be felt for many years to come. We expect him to play a significant role in English cricket in the future.

"Michael led from the front and led with honesty and integrity every step of the way.

"He took the England captaincy to new heights. Michael was the best possible ambassador for the game and his record as captain speaks volumes for the character he instilled in the dressing room."

South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who had barely started in his own job when Vaughan replaced Nasser Hussain for the second Test against South Africa at Lord's in 2003, said: "It has come as a shock to me.

"I have the highest regard for him as person, sportsman and leader. It is a great loss for world cricket."

see also
Collingwood explains resignation
03 Aug 08 |  England
Michael Vaughan career photos
03 Aug 08 |  Cricket
Moores bemoans batting failures
02 Aug 08 |  England
Vaughan revels in return to form
18 May 08 |  England
Vaughan quits as one-day skipper
18 Jun 07 |  England
Vaughan on top of the world
14 Apr 03 |  Cricket
Hussain quits as captain
28 Jul 03 |  Eng v SA 2003
South Africa in England in 2008
02 Aug 08 |  Cricket

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