The England and Wales Cricket Board have named Andrew Strauss as the new England skipper following a day of turmoil for the national team.
A string of conflicting reports on the future of captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores began to emerge on Wednesday morning, but chaos reigned until the ECB finally held a press conference at 6pm, half an hour after Pietersen had announced his resignation.
There it was announced that Middlesex batsman Strauss will take over the captaincy for the tour of the West Indies, which starts in two weeks time.
Opening batsman Strauss, 31, has 55 Test caps and averages more than 42. He captained the side in the absence of the injured Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff in 2006, winning three and drawing two of his five Tests as skipper.
The ECB also announced the departure of Moores as head coach, but have delayed naming a replacement.
In an ECB statement to a press conference at the Brit Oval on Wednesday evening, managing director Hugh Morris said: "The England and Wales Cricket Board have late this afternoon accepted, with regret, the resignation of Kevin Pietersen as England captain.
"Kevin recognised that in the present situation it was impossible to restore the dressing room unity which is vital if England are to win the forthcoming tour to the Caribbean, the ICC global events or regain the Ashes in the npower Ashes Test series.
"Kevin Pietersen is highly valued as a senior and experienced player and we are delighted that he has indicated he wishes to continue to represent England in all their forthcoming international fixtures, starting in the Caribbean later this month.
"I have an extremely high respect and regard for Kevin Pietersen but this has become an impossible situation given the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship between captain and coach .
"With regard to Peter Moores, the Board determined that he should relinquish his role as England team director.
"I have the greatest respect for the dignity which Peter Moores has shown in recent days when he has found himself under extreme pressure. The ECB wish him well in his future roles.
"I would also like to thank him for his contribution as England Team director and his work as National Academy director.
"Andrew Strauss has agreed to lead the team to the Caribbean. He led the England team with distinction in 2006 when Michael Vaughan was injured.
"The Board will announce the coaching set up for the Caribbean tour as soon as possible and will embark on an immediate search for a coach who can provide England with the best chance of success in the coming years."