5 Aug 2008

New era for England as Pietersen becomes captain

11:39 am on 5 August 2008

English cricket has moved into a new era with the appointment of South African-born Kevin Pietersen as captain less than a year before the start of the 2009 Ashes home series against Australia.

Pietersen, 28, will lead both the Test and one-day teams after Michael Vaughan resigned from the former post yesterday and Paul Collingwood relinquished the latter shortly afterwards.

Pietersen has promised to lead both with the same aggression he brings to his batting.

He will be in charge for next year's Twenty20 World Cup in England as part of the latest challenge for an ambitious man who left his native land to qualify for the country where his mother was born.

Vaughan has been replaced by the Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara in the only change to the England squad for the fourth Test against South Africa, which starts at The Oval on Friday.

South Africa clinched the four-match series 2-0 at Edgbaston in Birmingham on the weekend, a loss which, allied to his loss of batting form, prompted Vaughan's resignation.