South Africa in England 2008 August 3, 2008

Speculation surrounds Vaughan future

Cricinfo staff

Close to the end? Has the series defeat to South Africa ended Michael Vaughan's captaincy reign © Getty Images

The ECB have called a press conference at Loughborough at 1pm (BST) on Sunday to "consider the best way forward for the England team" following the series defeat against South Africa, after their five-wicket loss at Edgbaston on Saturday.

The rumours are that central to the debate will be the future of Michael Vaughan, with strong hints that he will step down from the role he has held since 2003. "Later today we will have to consider the best way forward for the England team," managing director Hugh Morris told BBC Radio Five Live.

Morris didn't confirm the situation surrounding Vaughan but said that England have to look forward to the next 12 months. "Michael has been the most successful Test captain England has ever had," he said. "The critical thing is that will be sitting down with Michael and the selectors to plot the way forward. It was a significant blow to lose the series to South Africa.

"It was desperately disappointing. We had high hopes after two wins in two previous Tests against New Zealand so clearly the selectors will be talking this through. We have an incredibly important 12 months ahead of us."

If Vaughan does stand down, the search will be on for his successor, with Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss the frontrunners within the current team. Paul Collingwood would also be an option, but despite his 135 in the second innings at Edgbaston, he has been through a troubled time of late.

The squad for the final Test at The Oval will also be announced, with changes expected, following England's third series defeat in five. The batting could be given a shake-up, with the likes of Robert Key, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara eyeing a call-up. Ryan Sidebottom looked short of fitness at Edgbaston, so Steve Harmison could be back in the equation and it may also be the time to recall Simon Jones.