Lack of runs costs emotional Vaughan
Of all the resignation press conferences I have attended, Michael Vaughan's was easily the most emotional. Visibly moved throughout, he choked when thanking his family for the support he has received from them during his five years as England's captain. Towards the end, we were all willing him through it.
Not one journalist in the room had expected to be there today. The managing director of England Cricket, Hugh Morris, spoke of his surprise at Vaughan's decision although Vaughan revealed that he had been considering it since England's victory in Napier in March.
It is a time-consuming and pressurised job, but it was the lack of runs that did for Vaughan in the end. Fiercely proud and professional, he simply could not stand the constant debate over the value of his place in the team any longer.
It might also have started to affect the dressing-room - players will support and comfort their out-of-form captain for a while, but then respect starts dangerously to erode. Vaughan decided to quit before that happened.
Also, there was an element of having little choice. Had England wanted to name five bowlers for the final Test, it would have been Vaughan who should have stepped aside. Had any other batsman been told do so for the sake of his captain, the integrity of the team's selection would have been called into question.
Had anyone suggested to me a couple of days ago that Kevin Pietersen would be captain at The Oval, I would have laughed out loud - and yet he is emerging as the most likely candidate from a depressingly short list. The man the South Africans call "Mr Ego" and who, only on Friday, was condemned by virtually everyone who has played this game at a serious level for his selfishness, appears to be the front runner from Andrew Strauss - who has not been in the one-day squad recently - and outsider Rob Key.
In his glowing tribute of Vaughan, Morris called him "a team player in every sense of the word." I do not think I could find anyone who could say that about KP. How would the captaincy affect his batting? Does he really need the burden? Or would the responsibility of the job concentrate his mind on his team and colleagues?
The last word goes to Vaughan. An Ashes-winning hero, Michael has been easily the most approachable, the most honest and the most interesting England captain to interview. He also owns the most beautiful extra cover drive in the world which I hope, after a break and a return to form at Yorkshire, we will see again very soon.