Vaughan, Collingwood both step down


Cricket: Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood have stepped down as respective Test and one-day captains less than 24 hours after England's five-wicket defeat to South Africa in the third Test at Edgbaston gave the Proteas an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-Test series.

Vaughan brought his own future into question after yesterday's defeat that meant the 33-year-old had overseen three series losses against top-class opposition since returning from a career-threatening knee injury.

Collingwood has also stepped down with reports suggesting Kevin Pietersen is set to be named skipper for all forms of the game when the squads for the fourth Test and NatWest series are named on Monday.

Vaughan told a press conference: "I've made the decision to stand down as England captain."

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

"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.

"I will carry on playing because I think there are a lot more runs in me.

"This decision will prolong my career. I'm moving better than ever in the field so hopefully this decision will make my last few years a very exciting time."

Vaughan revealed he does not want to be considered for the final Test of the series to allow him time to mull over his future.

"I will take a break from the game so I won't be playing at The Oval."

Michael Vaughan Factfile

1974: Born in Eccles, Manchester, on October 29.

1992-93: Tours with England Under-19 in India.

1993: Makes Yorkshire debut and is voted the Cricket Society's most promising young cricketer.

1995: Awarded county cap.

1999-2000: Makes his Test debut for England against South Africa at Johannesburg.

2000: A broken bone in his hand rules him out of the two-Test series against Zimbabwe.

2000-01: Tours with England in Pakistan and Sri Lanka but plays in just one Test - the series decider in Colombo - because of a calf strain.

2001: Hits his maiden Test century in the Old Trafford Test defeat to Pakistan. Helps his county win their first Championship title for 33 years.

However, a knee injury rules him out of the entire Ashes summer.

2002: Makes 115 in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

Misses the ICC Champions Trophy to have an operation on his troublesome knee.

2002-03: Returns in time to be fit for the start of the Ashes series and makes 177 on the first day of the second Test at Adelaide and adds another century at Melbourne, 145, his sixth of an amazing year.

Records two half-centuries in five World Cup innings.

2003: May 6 - Named captain of England's one-day team.

July 28: Appointed new England Test captain after Nasser Hussain steps down.

September - Although he struggles for form with the bat, Vaughan's first experience of Test captaincy ends on a reasonably high note as England draw series with South Africa 2-2.

November 14 - Scores 105 over seven-and-a-half hours and 333 balls to help England save the second Test against Sri Lanka in Kandy. His monumental innings was his 10th Test century and his first as captain.

2004: Victory within three days secures England's first Test series win in the Caribbean for over 30 years as an eight-wicket success in Barbados wraps up the series.

July-August - Whitewash of West Indies in four-Test series.

2005: September - Vaughan leads England to historic 2-1 Ashes series win with a rain-affected draw in the fifth Test, thanks to centuries from South Africa-born duo Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen.

November 7 - Injures knee and retires hurt on day two of the second tour match against Pakistan A, which England lose by six wickets.

November 11 - Ruled out of first Test in Multan with Marcus Trescothick taking over as captain.

November 20 - Returns for second Test in Faisalabad which England draw. Also plays in third Test in Lahore which England lose to suffer a 2-0 series defeat.

December 6 - Announces he is to undergo exploratory knee surgery and will miss the five-match one-day series in Pakistan.

2006: February 27 - Having been cleared to lead England on the tour to India, Vaughan is ruled out of the first Test and returns home from Nagpur after a recurrence of his knee injury.

March 2 - Ruled out of entire series against India following a visit to his specialist.

May 29 - Returns to action in Yorkshire's C&G Trophy game against Scotland, scoring 67. Comeback too late to feature in either Test or one-day series against Sri Lanka.

June 29 - Told he needs a fourth operation on his knee, ruling him out for four to six months.

July 29 - Admits he "might never play again".

November 29 - Made a playing return for an Academy team against a Western Australia XI in Perth, coming through a spell in the field unscathed before making a seven-ball duck.

December 21 - Selected in the one-day squad for the triangular series with Australia and New Zealand.

2007: January 6 - Named captain for the triangular series.

January 17 - Ruled out of triangular series match against Australia after tearing his left hamstring in a match against New Zealand.

April - Returns to captain England at the World Cup, but a series of unconvincing displays from the team and Vaughan individually culminate in elimination at the Super Eight stage.

May - Suffers broken finger batting for Yorkshire. Expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks, making him a doubt for the start of the Test series against West Indies.

May 25 - After missing first Test, he returns for the second, scoring his first Test century for almost two years.

June 11 - Becomes England's most successful captain in terms of wins with 60-run victory over West Indies in the third npower Test at Old Trafford to wrap up the four-match series 2-0.

June 18 - Stands down as captain of England's one-day side with immediate effect.

August 13 - England lose their first home Test series since 2001 at the hands of India.

September - Named in ICC's Test team of the year.

2008: January - England lose Test series in Sri Lanka to relinquish second place in the ICC Test rankings.

February-March - First overseas Test series win for England in three years in New Zealand.

May-June - Black Caps defeated once again at home.

July-August - England lose two of the first three Tests against South Africa to suffer a home series defeat for the second summer in succession. Vaughan struggles badly with an average of just eight.

August 3 - Announces he is to step down as captain.