LONDON: Kevin Pietersen has resigned as England captain and Peter Moores has stepped down as team coach after their working relationship broke down.
South African-born Pietersen had questioned Moores' ability as a top international coach in a dispute which became public.
Officials had been keen to have the dispute between the duo resolved before the England squad travelled to the Caribbean on January 21 for their four-Test tour of the West Indies.
Pietersen gave credence to longstanding rumours that his relationship with Moores was in trouble by telling an English newspaper. "This situation is not healthy, we have to make sure it is settled as soon as possible and certainly before we fly off to the West Indies.
"Everybody has to have the same aims and pull in the same direction for the good of the England team."
Star batsman Pietersen apparently resigned by telephone from South Africa
where he is on holiday.
The 28-year-old was not due to arrive back in England until Thursday.
Pietersen was handed the England captaincy, for all forms of cricket, in August after 2005 Ashes-winning skipper Michael Vaughan's emotional departure as Test captain and the announcement that Paul Collingwood would not continue to lead the one-day team.
Pietersen, who had minimal captaincy experience at senior level before being handed the England job, won widespread praise for his off-field work when the squad resumed their tour of India after the Mumbai terror attacks.
But on the field, England failed to defend a 387-run target during the first Test against India in Chennai.
Reports then emerged that Pietersen, whose field placements were criticised, had been unhappy with the quality of the tactical input he had received from Moores, who himself never played international cricket.