How Pietersen's resignation unfolded
Wednesday 07 January 2009
January 7 2009 will be remembered as a tumultuous date in the history of English cricket. Here, we trace the dawn-to-dusk developments on the day when the captain resigned and the coach was sacked.
0900: With the stage already set by morning newspaper reports that the futures of both captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores are set to be discussed by an England and Wales Cricket Board in emergency session, media outlets begin breaking unsourced news that the former has already resigned.
1000: Moores' resignation is also reported in the same manner, with batting coach Andy Flowers said to be about to take over on an interim basis. No confirmation is forthcoming from the ECB, who instead insist they have received no such resignation from either man.
1030: Baffled former captains, coaches et al begin to try to make sense publicly of a situation which throws into doubt the short and long-term futures not just of Moores and Pietersen but also the England team as a whole - with a Test tour of the Caribbean set to begin within the month.
Former England off-spinner Shaun Udal wonders how the team can get of "the mess" - a description echoed by ex-England captain Bob Willis; ex-Test all-rounder Dominic Cork fears English cricket has become a "laughing stock"; among a long cast list having their say, ex-captain Graham Gooch upgrades the debacle to an "unholy mess"; another former leader, Nasser Hussain, is damning in his criticism of Pietersen's behaviour - "You can't just sit on safari in South Africa and issue ultimatums to the board about the England cricket captaincy".
1415: As attention turns to who will succeed Pietersen, Andrew Strauss is nominated by most as the likely favourite. He is duly spotted by a TV camera crew leaving his home ground Lord's - where the ECB have been meeting - in the company of national selector Geoff Miller.
1530: Adding his opinion to those of Alec Stewart, David Lloyd and many others, former ECB chairman Lord MacLaurin is perhaps the most resonant when he suggests "this is a decision Kevin Pietersen will regret for the rest of his life ... he put a pistol to the head of the ECB and said, 'Back me or sack me', and I think the ECB were absolutely right" ... it is really pathetic in many ways".
1600: The ECB announce a press conference will be held at The Oval in two hours' time.
1630: Pietersen is spotted arriving at Durban airport, thought to be about to board a plane back to England following his holiday in his native country.
1730: Pietersen releases a statement announcing his resignation.
1805: ECB managing director Hugh Morris confirms Pietersen's resignation - to be replaced by Andrew Strauss for the West Indies tour - and the sacking of Moores.
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