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Pietersen appointed England cricket captain

A day after Michael Vaighan's sudden resignation as the captain of England cricket team, Kevin Pietersen has been appointed as the new captain.

cricket Updated: Aug 04, 2008 20:08 IST

Kevin Pietersen's remarkable career took its latest and arguably the most dramatic turn on Monday when he was named England cricket captain.

The South African-born batsman will lead England in test, one-day and Twenty20 matches, starting with the fourth test against South Africa this week.

The appointment came a day after Michael Vaughan's sudden resignation and caps a remarkable rise for the 28-year-old Pietersen, who was viewed as the enfant terrible of English cricket when he made his debut against Australia three years ago.

He has since toned down his outspoken comments - and outrageous haircuts - to become one of the team's most reliable members.

"In choosing a new captain, we were keen to identify a player who could lead the team in all three forms of cricket and bring fresh enthusiasm and ideas to the role of captain," national selector Geoff Miller said.

"Kevin is a world-class player who will command the respect of the dressing room and I am sure that he will be looking to lead from the front."

Pietersen, who was born and raised in Pietermaritzburg near Durban but has an English mother, is the eighth best batsman in the International Cricket Council's rankings and one of the few experienced players guaranteed a place in the side.

There is a danger that, like Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara before him, he could find that the burden of leadership hampers his batting style, but Pietersen is a famously focused and driven athlete who has made a career of meeting and exceeding high expectations.