Johannesburg, Feb 5 ANI | 9 months ago

The international career of controversial England batsman Kevin Pietersen has reportedly come to an end after he was left out of the squads for both the upcoming ODIs with the West Indies and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Pietersen's nine-year international career saw him establish himself as one of the world's leading batsmen, with his 23 Test hundreds just two short of the England record held by current England captain Alastair Cook.

According to Sport24, in a joint statement with the South Africa-born batsman, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that they had left Pietersen out of the upcoming matches as they 'unanimously' wanted to rebuild the side without him following their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

Stating that he was honoured to have played cricket for England, Pietersen said that although he is sad at his exit from the team, he is proud of what the team has achieved over the past nine years, adding that he is fortunate to have played at a time of great success for England cricket.

Thanking everyone for their support and wishing the team the best for its future, Pietersen also said that he believes he still has a great deal to give as a cricketer although he regretted that it would not be for England.

Newly-appointed ECB managing director Paul Downton, who only recently oversaw the departure of England coach Andy Flower following the Ashes thrashing, hinted the need to restore team harmony, rather than playing ability, had been the key reason behind Pietersen's exit.

The ECB's decision, which they said was the 'unanimous' view of the England management, appears to leave Pietersen free to spend more time playing in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), often a source of friction between himself and the ECB hierarchy, the report added.

(Posted on 05-02-2014)

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