Pietersen is now only seen as a Test specialist by the ECB
Flamboyant England batsman Kevin Pietersen has announced his immediate retirement from ODI and Twenty20 Internationals, which has left the cricketing world in shock.
The announcement was released by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who Pietersen has had a rather up and down relationship with.
Pietersen, who is currently 31, has been at the centre of many awkward circumstances with the ECB, but many argue that his retirement from limited overs cricket is the most serious step he has taken.
Pietersen, who was named the Man of the Match in the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup, made his decision when the ECB declined his request to represent England in the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, which is to be held in Sri Lanka this September.
Since Pietersen would not make himself available for both forms of limited overs cricket, the ECB had no choice but to make him retire, and announced that he would now continue his career as a Test specialist only.
Pietersen, who has represented England in 127 ODIs and 36 Twenty20 Internationals, will depart from the limited overs scene after scoring back to back centuries against Pakistan earlier this year.
When announcing his decision to retire, the limited overs superstar said: “After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I am today announcing my retirement from international one-day cricket. With the intensity of the international schedule and the increasing demands on my body, approaching 32, I think it is the right time to step aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the ICC World Cup in 2015.”
However, Pietersen stated that he was extremely proud of what he had accomplished over his limited overs career, and hopes that he will still be included in England’s Test squad.
“I am immensely proud of my achievements in the one-day game, and still wish to be considered for selection for England in Test cricket,” he added.
Pietersen, also noted that if it had not been for the ECB’s selection criteria, he would have gladly represented England in the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup.
“For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20,” he said.
The ECB’s managing director Hugh Morris, stated that he was thankful for Pietersen’s contribution to England cricket, which have yielded 4184 runs at 41.84 in ODIs and 1176 runs at 37.93 in Twenty20 Internationals, but also noted that he was dissatisfied with Pietersen’s decision coming so close to the Twenty20 World Cup.
“ECB is disappointed by the timing of Kevin’s decision less than four months before we defend our ICC World Twenty20 title,” said Morris.
“Kevin is a world-class player and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his efforts and we look forward to his continued contributions to the Test match side,” he added.
Morris, also took the opportunity to mention that Pietersen will be replaced in both the ODI and Twenty20 squad, despite his willingness to continue playing Twenty20 cricket.
“As the programming and planning for ODI and T20 format cricket are very closely linked we have a selection policy that means that any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats, rules himself out of consideration for both formats. The selectors will now replace Kevin in both the ODI and the T20 squads,” Morris said.
Rumours of Pietersen thinking of retiring from limited overs cricket can be traced back to the end of the 2011 World Cup, but during the first Test last summer, he declared that he still wanted to perform well in all three formats of the game.
From that period, Pietersen went on to represent England in just 13 ODIs and six Twenty20 Internationals.
Pietersen, also gave up his captaincy in 2009 after getting into a heated dispute with then coach Peter Moores.
Pietersen, was left out of the England ODI squad for the first time in 2010, and called it a “f*** up” on his Twitter account.
Another tweet, which criticised former England player and current Sky TV commentator Nick Knight, earned Pietersen a fine somewhere between £2,000 and £3,000.
England’s current coach, Andy Flower also criticised Pietersen during the 2011 World Cup, when the batsman left after sustaining an injury which the team medics believed was manageable to carry on playing with.