England's captain-coach controversy January 13, 2009

Captain should be in control - Greig

Cricinfo staff

Tony Greig believes an international coach should stay in the background and let the captain run the show which, he feels, Moores (pictured) did not do © Getty Images
In the wake of the falling out between Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores, which ultimately cost both men their jobs, the former England captain Tony Greig - who also lost the position in controversial circumstances - has said that the captain should be in ultimate control of the team.

"Moores' behaviour would suggest to me that he is one of the growing group of coaches who think the coach's job is more important than that of the captain," Greig said on his Cricinfo show. "He is very wrong and the sooner he and others like him are put in their place the better.

"It's also pertinent to note that every Tom, Dick and Harry is putting his hand up for the coaching job, hopefully the ECB will learn from this mistake and ask the new captain who he wants to work with. These days, captains and coaches have to work together and to impose a coach on a new captain is just plain silly.

"Pietersen has never got on with Moores and should have been allowed to have a say in the man who should be his second in charge. This relationship was never going to work and let's face it, once Pietersen was made the captain it was only a question of time before Moores was going to be ditched."

Greig can speak with some experience on the subject of losing the captaincy, as his career included a period remarkably similar to what Pietersen has now gone through. In 1977 he was England captain and had just led the team on a tour of India, though unlike Pietersen's trip, Greig had come away victorious. But on his return the first signs Kerry Packer's World Series were hitting the headlines.

It soon emerged that Greig was heavily involved, personally recruiting some of the leading international names, and he was stripped of the captaincy and branded a mercenary. There was an Ashes series looming and England called up a Middlesex batsman, Mike Brearley, to lead the side, which the home side won 3-0.

Greig said that England must now hope that Pietersen can put the problems behind him and focus on scoring runs for the team, beginning with the tour of West Indies and carrying forward into the Ashes series. Greig, himself, managed to perform after losing the captaincy with 91 in the first Test of 1977 Ashes series although his overall record for the contest - 226 runs at 32.28 and seven wickets at 28 didn't stand out - and his career ended after the final Test at The Oval.

"Regrettably, England might now never know what Pietersen was capable of as a captain, even though he added another twist to English cricket's chaotic week when he insisted he'd be back as captain despite his controversial resignation," he said. "Hopefully this extremely talented cricketer's form doesn't suffer as a result of this saga, which is something that England does not need."