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by John Pennington Tuesday 4 February 2014
England will begin rebuilding following a disappointing tour of Australia without Kevin Pietersen after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) informed him that his international career is over.
The ECB's new Managing Director of Cricket Paul Downton confirmed that the decision taken by England management to leave Pietersen out of their future plans was 'unanimous'.
"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."
Pietersen played 104 Tests, 136 One-Day Internationals and 37 Twenty20 Internationals for his country.
He helped them win the Ashes in 2005, 2009, 2010/11 and 2013 and was the man of the tournament as England won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010.
However, he will no longer thrill crowds with his flamboyant, aggressive, entertaining style and range of strokes on the international stage, but he will play on.
Only this morning he tweeted about coaching his team-mates at Surrey and with no international commitments to hinder him, he can expect to command a large fee at the Indian Premier League auction later this month.
"Playing cricket for my country has been an honour. Every time I pulled on the England shirt was a moment of huge pride for me and that is something that will live with me forever," Pietersen 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."
Without him, England head to the Caribbean to play the West Indies in three ODIs and three Twenty20s before flying to Bangladesh to contest the ICC World Twenty20.
Although Pietersen is one of the most successful batsmen to have ever played for England, his career has been far from uneventful - and not always for the right reasons.
He burst onto the scene with a string of dominant performances in ODI cricket in Zimbabwe and South Africa in 2004 and 2005.
Outstanding performances in limited overs cricket against Australia saw him earn a Test spot and a superb maiden century in the final Ashes Test helped England claim a 2-1 series win.
Named the ICC ODI Player Of The Year in 2005 and the Emerging Player Of The Year in 2006, he was also awarded the MBE in the same year.
He was named England captain in 2008 but by early 2009 his reign as captain was over following a rift with coach Peter Moores, who also lost his job.
Kevin Pietersen - England 2004-2014
104 Tests, 8,181 runs, 23 centuries, 10 wickets
136 ODIs, 4,440 runs, 9 centuries, 7 wickets
37 T20Is, 1,176 runs, 7 half-centuries, 1 wicket
Pietersen remained a key part of the side and a series of belligerent innings helped England win the ICC WT20 in the West Indies in 2010 - their first global trophy.
A double-century at Adelaide helped England clinch a first Ashes win in Australia for 26 years in 2010/11 and during this time, he also helped his country reach the number one spot in the Test rankings.
In 2012 Pietersen retired from ODI and T20I cricket, went back on his decision, was dropped and then 'reintegrated' following another row during which he was alleged to have sent derogatory texts about Strauss to South African players.
He missed England's defence of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka only to return to help England claim a rare Test series win in India.
Despite the events off the field, in 2012 Pietersen played three of his greatest Test innings: 151 to set up a win against Sri Lanka in Colombo, a dashing 149 in a bid to win the second Test against South Africa in Headingley (the game before he was dropped) and then a majestic 186 in Mumbai that put England on course for victory over India.
Missing the early part of the 2013 season due to a knee injury, he scored a century at Old Trafford as England secured another Ashes win before suffering the disappointment of a second Ashes whitewash Down Under.
He scored more runs than any of his team-mates in the series, but despite that, and his own desire to carry on until at least the 2015 series, the Sydney Test will be his last appearance in an England shirt.
© Cricket World 2014