England v West Indies, 4th Test, Chester-le-Street, 5th day June 19, 2007

Vaughan knew time was right



Michael Vaughan: "A new captain would find it very difficult captaining me a week after I've led him in a Test" © Getty Images
It's been an eventful series for Michael Vaughan, missing the first Test with a broken finger, hitting a century in his comeback match on home turf, and then announcing his decision to stand down from the one-day captaincy yesterday evening. He didn't want to make that move public until after the series so it didn't take away the team's focus. Vaughan gained the 3-0 result he asked for at the start of the match, but that wasn't the hot topic afterwards.

"I'll be honest, I made the [one-day] decision in my heart in the West Indies," he said. "But I didn't want to just come out and say that because I thought there'd been enough talk, and Duncan [Fletcher] had just resigned, so I came home and spoke to a lot of people. But not one of them told me I should stand down so I thought maybe I should carry on. Then two weeks passed by and I remember sitting at home with my wife and saying it's just not the right thing, I've got to stand down."

Although in his statement Vaughan said he would continue playing one-day cricket for Yorkshire, he doesn't expect a place in the England squad, which is announced on Friday. "A new captain would find it very difficult captaining me a week after I've led him in a Test," he said. "He deserves a little bit of time to get his authority over to the team, working his method of captaincy out, and if I was there it might be difficult. So I think it's best for the team that I'm not there for a while. Who knows, if I'm playing well in a few months or next year then I may come back into the one-day team. But my record isn't that good and it could be a long shot.

"It's the right time to get a new man in charge and give him as many games as he needs to be a good one-day captain. If you are going to captain a World Cup he needs 60-70 matches of experience. Big decisions will be the difference between winning and losing."

Although Vaughan knew after the World Cup there wasn't a one-day future for him, he continued to say that two captains wasn't the way to go. A touch of back-tracking was required. "I said I didn't think split captains would work but if it's going to work it will with someone like me because I'm pretty chilled," he said. "I said a few things over the last few weeks but it was a decision I made and I don't have any worries about it."

Vaughan has previous experience of the split role after taking over from Nasser Hussain following the 2003 World Cup, and his remarks suggest he knows his overall position could become less secure. "It hasn't worked in the past, is it going to work now? I'm very confident that it can work but let's just wait and see. If a new captain comes in and does a magnificent job that's the end of MV. It's just the way it happens. We have never been a good one-day team and we need to start winning."

Success has come much more regularly in the Test arena for Vaughan and although the 3-0 result over West Indies wasn't the toughest challenge, it was an important confidence booster. "It's what we expected and what everyone in the country expected but sometimes when expectations are high it puts a lot more pressure on the team. But I'm really pleased the way the team went about their business. It's a great start for Peter Moores and the team can be very pleased.

"There were times when we weren't at our best but it's very hard to be at your best all the time. What we did do is win all the crucial sessions and every time we needed a partnership or a wicket we did that."

Vaughan had discussions about who should succeed him, but he now takes a back seat as England prepare for the two Twenty20 Internationals and three ODIs against West Indies. The next time Vaughan is back at the helm will be the first Test against India, at Lord's on July 19, when he'll get a clearer idea of how the future will pan out.

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer on Cricinfo