/ Cricket

Pietersen England career appears over

Updated: Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 11:16 | Comments

Kevin Pietersen was not named in the England squad for the T20 World Cup in March
Kevin Pietersen was not named in the England squad for the T20 World Cup in March

Kevin Pietersen has indicated that his England career is over after he was left out of the squads for the tour of the Caribbean later this month and ICC World Twenty20 in March.

Pietersen's international exile caps a winter of discontent for England, who have seen team director Andy Flower resign, premier spinner Graeme Swann retire and key batsman Jonathan Trott depart the scene with a stress-related illness.

Pietersen has been around longer than all of them, bursting on to the Test arena in the memorable Ashes summer of 2005, but there have been almost as many bust-ups as memorable innings and his England days have seemed close to a dramatic end on several occasions.

Now, with a dismal Ashes tour behind it, the ECB has opted for a clean slate.

Paul Downton, who has only been officially in position as managing director for a matter of days, explained the decision but limited-overs coach Ashley Giles, captain Alastair Cook and national selector James Whitaker have also had their say.

Downton's suggestion that England wish to "rebuild not only the team but also team ethic and philosophy" are perhaps the most telling words about Pietersen, who has long been criticised for his egocentric nature.

Pietersen has accepted his England days are over, after 104 Tests, 136 one-day internationals and 37 T20 internationals.

He said: "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.

"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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