Kevin Pietersen, the England captain, has sought emergency talks with the ECB over the role of coach Peter Moores, according to reports in the English media. Pietersen, who is currently on holiday, has asked to speak with Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, when he returns.
Newspaper reports suggest captain and coach are finding it increasingly difficult to work together after a poor series of results, beginning with the Stanford Super Series in Antigua followed by a 5-0 one-day defeat in India and the loss of the Test series, although England's performance in that was far more credible. The ECB have refused to comment on the reports.
When Pietersen took over the captaincy from Michael Vaughan in August he had a long discussion with Moores and at the time it was understood that he had reservations about working alongside him.
The Daily Mail reported that the immediate cause of the problem was the decision by the selectors on Monday to not include Vaughan in the touring party to the Caribbean. It said Pietersen had asked for Vaughan's inclusion and had left on his holiday believing he would have his way but Moores won over the selectors at the meeting.
According to the Guardian, however, the ECB played down the reports that Pietersen had called for talks with Clarke. The paper quoted sources in the ECB saying, "there is a review after every tour and this one [India] is no different". It also points out that differences between Pietersen and Moores would be an immediate headache for Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, and not for Clarke.
England have failed to develop under Moores, who took over from Duncan Fletcher following the 2007 World Cup. They have slipped down the Test rankings and although there have been notable one-day successes against India, Sri Lanka and South Africa the limited-overs team remains inconsistent and the next World Cup is just two years away.
Under Moores the only Test series England have won have been against West Indies and New Zealand. During the eight years Fletcher was in charge they lost just one home series - against Australia in 2001 - but since 2007 have been beaten by both India and South Africa.
However, of most pressing concern for the ECB if the relationship has reached breaking point would be forthcoming tour of West Indies and the Ashes. England depart for the Caribbean on January 21 for four Tests, a Twenty20 international and five ODIs. That is followed by a return series against West Indies in May before the Twenty20 World Cup and then the Ashes in July and August.