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Vaughan quits as England captain


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


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


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


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 six rubbers.


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


Vaughan 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."


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.

"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."



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Traditionally, the burden of captaincy hampers the old batting average... I hope Pietersen will buck that trend.


Vaughan should have stepped down before touring New Zealand, but you would struggle to name a suitable replacement at the time. Unfortunately, he retires half the player that he was. How fickle people are and how quickly they forget everything that he and his team achieved. Quite simply, Vaughan was England's greatest modern captain and, albeit briefly, a world beating batsman.

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