Fletcher stands down

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Duncan Fletcher

Duncan Fletcher's eight-year tenure as England coach will come to an end on Saturday

The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that Duncan Fletcher has tendered his resignation as England head coach - ending an eight-year association with the national side.

The ECB board has accepted Fletcher’s resignation and he will take charge of the team for the last time on Saturday when England take on West Indies in their final ICC Cricket World Cup match.

ECB chief executive David Collier commented: "ECB would like to formally put on record our grateful thanks to Duncan Fletcher for his outstanding service to cricket throughout England and Wales.

Duncan Fletcher Resignation

Fletcher (right) conveys the news to the England squad

"He can be justifiably proud of a record which includes an Ashes Series victory over Australia, a record eight successive Test wins and Test series wins abroad in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and South Africa as well as the Commonwealth Bank Series success in Australia.

"England’s rise to number two in the LG ICC Test Championship is in no small measure due to his rigorous planning and excellent coaching skills.

"Away from the international arena, Duncan was instrumental in persuading the ECB and the first-class counties to introduce central contracts and his contribution provides an excellent legacy for his successor.

"He leaves with our best wishes and genuine appreciation from ECB for his achievements."

Fletcher said: "I always said that I would review my position as England coach nearer to the end of this winter. Earlier in the World Cup I came to a decision about my future and I discussed stepping down as head coach with the ECB prior to England’s game against Bangladesh.

"I feel it is in the team’s best interests over the long term that I should move on and seek a new challenge elsewhere.

"This has been a difficult winter for the team and for me personally, but I believe that my record as coach over the past eight years is one in which I can take great pride.

"I would like to thank all the players and the management team for their contributions, the ECB for its support and for giving me the opportunity to coach England; and the England fans for their ongoing support."

ECB chief executive David Collier is already taking steps to ensure that England have a coach in place for the forthcoming West Indies npower Test series starting at Lord's on May 17, 2007.

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