Vaughan resigns as England captain

Michael Vaughan, England's most successful test cricket captain of all time, resigned today following his side's series defeat against South Africa.

The 33-year-old's announcement came at a hastily arranged press conference in Loughborough less than 24 hours after he said he would "let the dust settle" on his team's defeat.

Vaughan has struggled with the bat in recent seasons, but England supporters will always remember him as the man who led the team to their first Ashes series win for 20 years in 2005.

With 26 victories in his 51 tests as captain, Vaughan was his country's most successful leader on the field, and he leaves the post just three matches behind Mike Atherton's record for most games as England captain.

South Africa beat the home side by five wickets at Edgbaston yesterday to consign Vaughan's men to their third series defeat in five, and Vaughan said he felt it was time for someone else to take the helm.

The decision was clearly an intensely emotional one for Vaughan, and he wiped away tears as he faced the media to make his announcement.

"It's the hardest decision I've ever had to make but also the easiest," he said.

"The hardest because I'm giving away the job I've loved for the last five years, one I've put my heart and soul into, but also the easiest because my mind has told me to pack it in.

"I felt if I kept going my career could come to an abrupt end - hopefully, this can prolong my career."

At the height of his career in the early 2000s, Vaughan's elegance and timing with the bat were almost unparalleled in the game, and fans will hope relinquishing the captaincy will help him regain some of that form.

"I really do believe these could be the best years of my playing career and I can go on and score plenty of runs," he said.

"It is a difficult job but a fantastic job but not many people get to do it which is a real privilege. I've loved every minute of it.

"It's a big disappointment not getting through until next year but there's no point carrying on when you know it's time to go."

Vaughan has struggled in recent matches, his last five tests producing just one century and an average of 22.

He ruled himself out of the final test against South Africa at the Oval later this week, and if his replacement scores heavily, the Yorkshire batsman's place could be in jeopardy.

Paul Collingwood, England's one-day captain, also stepped down, and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) may now choose one man for both roles.

The ECB's managing director Hugh Morris hailed Vaughan's influence on England since he took charge of the team in 2003.

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

"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."

Yorkshire captain Darren Gough, who will welcome Vaughan back for his side's battle to remain in LV County Championship Division One, was surprised he decided to step down.

"I am very disappointed for Michael Vaughan and for England because I thought he was an excellent captain and leader," Gough said.

"I said on my radio show last week that I thought he should stay on as England captain.

"He is a terrific player and, like Collingwood, is probably only one innings away from resurrecting his form.

"The timing is never right when to resign but it tends to be when you have lost a series. I think that pressure from outside has built up sufficient for him to say enough is enough.

"He was well respected by the players and I thought he should have waited until after India to make a decision but it is up to him and he has decided to do it now."

general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before