ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pietersen rules out one-day captaincy


kevinKevin Pietersen has ruled himself out of the running to be Michael Vaughan’s successor as England’s one-day captain, leaving the way clear for Paul Collingwood to be named as the new leader when the squad is announced on Friday.

Speaking at a sponsor’s function in Central London, Pietersen said: “It’s something I’ve thought about long and hard but it’s not the right time for me to do it. Right now is the time for me to be doing team stuff.

“I would be humbled in the future to be given the opportunity to captain my country, but whoever gets the job tomorrow will get my full support. It is a new era now with a new coaching staff and a good time for England to move forward.”

Pietersen’s credentials as a captain have never yet been tested, although he received backing this week from Geoff Boycott, who argued that England needed to take the innovative route if they wanted to claim the World Cup in Asia in 2011. Pietersen just smiled and said: “I thank him for that.” Darren Gough, his best man at his forthcoming wedding, also gave his backing.

Collingwood has also had limited experience of leadership, but is viewed as the safer option. “If I were to be asked, it would be very hard to turn down,” he said during the recent fourth Test in Durham. “There’s obviously going to be a few people who are up for the job so we’ll have to wait and see who the selectors feel would be the best made for the job.”

But Pietersen did admit it was “something I have thought about a lot” and also said that he had had talks with the England management. “It has been mentioned. It’s not the right thing for me right now.”

Pietersen added that he was sorry that Michael Vaughan had stepped down, although he realised that it was the best thing for England, and for the sake of Vaughan’s longevity in Tests. “It was done in the best interests of the country. The schedules we play, it’s hard. Test match after Test match after Test match… Our bodies take a hammering.”

But he realised that, although finding a balance is hard, England’s one-day preparation still need to be addressed. “The one-day scene has been neglected,” he said. “We haven’t won too many trophies. It’s about winning at all costs and being the best at everything.” In the meantime, there are the forthcoming Twenty20s to take his mind off matters.

“It’s a release,” he said, although he will be taking the Twenty20 World Championships in September very seriously. “It’s in South Africa, so that could be interesting,” he said with a grin which alluded to the reception the crowd gave him in 2005 when he scored three centuries in his first major series for England.

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 22nd, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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