Pietersen’s international career effectively over

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“I will continue to play but deeply regret that it won’t be for England”

England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s international career is effectively over after he was not selected for the national team’s upcoming limited overs tour of the West Indies and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month.

Pietersen has represented England in 104 Test matches, 136 ODIs and 37 Twenty20 Internationals since making his international debut in 2004.

The South African-born batsman became the highest run-scorer for England in all three formats combined, despite the numerous controversies he was involved in.

Speaking about controversies, Pietersen’s departure comes 18 months after he was ‘reintegrated’ into the England squad following rumours that he sent derogatory text messages about former captain Andrew Strauss and ex-head coach Andy Flower to the South African team in July 2012.

The decision to remove Pietersen from England’s future plans was taken during a meeting between England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) managing director Paul Downton, captain Alastair Cook, limited overs coach Ashley Giles and national selector James Whitaker.

It is also understood that Downton met with Pietersen.

“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,” Downton said. “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. This decision brings some clarity now for the future of the England teams and we all wish Kevin the very best in the rest of his career.”

Upon hearing the news, Pietersen, via a statement through the ECB, said: “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. 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.”

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