Updated: Wednesday, 05 February 2014 03:32 | By Agence France-Presse

Pietersen's England career over

Kevin Pietersen's controversial England career came to an abrupt end after officials announced Tuesday they'd "unanimously" wanted to rebuild the side without the star batsman.


Pietersen's England career over

England's batsman Kevin Pietersen walks back towards the dressing room following his dismissal off the bowling of Ryan Harris on the third day of the fifth Ashes cricket Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 5, 2014 - by Saeed Khan

In a joint statement with their 33-year-old former captain, the ECB announced they'd left Pietersen out of their forthcoming squads for both the upcoming one-day international tour of the West Indies and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Recently-appointed ECB managing director Paul Downton said Pietersen's international career was being terminated because of a need to "rebuild" following the team's 5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia.

In the statement, Pietersen said: "Playing cricket for my country has been an honour. 

"Although I am obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end, I'm also hugely proud of what we, as a team, have achieved over the past nine years. 

"I feel extremely fortunate to have played at a time of great success for England cricket alongside some of the best cricketers the country has ever produced. 

"I want to thank everyone for their fantastic support and I wish the team the very best of success going forward."

He added: "I believe I have a great deal still to give as a cricketer. I will continue to play but deeply regret that it won't be for England."

Downton, who only recently oversaw the departure of England coach Andy Flower following the Ashes thrashing, said: "Clearly this was a tough decision because Kevin has been such an outstanding player for England as the fact that he is the country's leading run scorer in international cricket demonstrates.

"However everyone was aware that there was a need to begin the long term planning after the Australia tour. Therefore we have decided the time is right to look to the future and start to rebuild not only the team but also team ethic and philosophy.

"England cricket owes a debt of gratitude to Kevin who has proved to be one of the most talented and exciting players to ever represent the country and his 13,797 runs are a testimony to his immense skill..we all wish Kevin the very best in the rest of his career."

Pietersen's nine-year international career saw him establish himself as one of the world's leading batsmen and this decision is bound to lead to questions about the ECB's ability to 'handle' star players, given he remains the most talented member of their current top-order.

But the South Africa-born shotmaker's time in the England camp has also been beset by off-field problems that saw him fall-out with two national team coaches in Peter Moores and Flower, who stepped down from his post on January 31.

Significantly, Pietersen was briefly dropped from the England team in 2012 after sending text messages alleged to be critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss to South African players.However, he was soon "reintegrated" into the team under new captain Alastair Cook.

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