London - Andrew Strauss was on the brink of
resigning as England's Test captain according to reports in the British
press on Wednesday in the latest twist to the Kevin Pietersen saga that
has rocked the side.
If Strauss does step down, after three years
in charge, his Test opening partner Alastair Cook, already England's
one-day captain, would be the obvious choice to succeed him as skipper
in the five-day format.
After England lost their number one Test
ranking to South Africa following a 51-run defeat by the Proteas at
Lord's earlier this month that took place almost a year to the day since
they ascended to top spot, Strauss was uncertain regarding his future
probably hard to answer that after the week that's just gone by. It's
been a tiring week," said Strauss after what was his 100th Test.
all need to sit down - myself and (coach) Andy Flower in particular - and try and map out the way forward," added the left-hander, who
reached his century of Test appearances on his Middlesex home ground.
of a "tiring week" was a direct reference to England's decision to drop
Pietersen, who hasn't played international cricket in any format since
making 149 in the drawn second Test at Headingley after he admitted
sending "provocative" texts to South African players.
these were alleged to have been critical of Strauss, who succeeded South
Africa-born and raised Pietersen as England captain in 2009.
Speculation about Strauss's future intensified on Tuesday.
35-year-old was set to play for Middlesex against Worcestershire in a
County Championship match starting on Tuesday but was withdrawn from the
side as Pietersen reminded England of what they were missing with a
superb 163 for Surrey against Somerset.
And a couple of hours
after the England one-day team suffered an 80-run thrashing by South
Africa in Southampton later Tuesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board
(ECB) announced that managing director Hugh Morris would be holding a
press conference at Lord's at (13:00 SA time) on Wednesday.
Meanwhile ECB chairperson Giles Clarke was due to give a separate media briefing at Derby at (15:00 SA time) on Wednesday.
ECB refused to say anything on Tuesday other than issue a brief statement
giving the details of Morris and Clarke's respective news conferences.
35, has enjoyed modest returns with the bat in recent years and his 122
against the West Indies in May was his first Test century since
He followed up with another century, his 21st and
one shy of the England all-time record, at Trent Bridge but averaged
just 17.83 in six innings against the South Africans.
form in 2012 has been poor, with six defeats in 11 Tests culminating in a
2-0 series loss to South Africa, their first home reverse in four
Were Strauss, who has led England to home and away Ashes
series wins, to resign the Test captaincy he would be the third England
skipper to be 'seen off' in as many tours of England by South Africa
captain Graeme Smith.
Nasser Hussain resigned during the
England-South Africa series in 2003, Smith's first series as Proteas
skipper, with Michael Vaughan standing down five years later.
who made 52 against England in Tuesday's one-dayer, remains the
Proteas' Test captain but the one-day side is now led by AB de Villiers.