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."

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower