Kevin Pietersen retires from limited overs cricket
London: Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen on Thursday bid adieu to international limited overs cricket with immediate effect citing a hectic international calender but said he would remain available for Tests.
"After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I am today announcing my retirement from international one-day cricket," said Pietersen, whose decision comes just four months ahead of the World T20 in Sri Lanka where England is the defending champions.
"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.
The terms of England players' central contract state that any cricketer making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats automatically rules himself out of consideration for both formats of the game. Pietersen said this means he would have to say goodbye to T20s as well.
"I am immensely proud of my achievements in the one-day game, but still wish to be considered for selection for England in Test cricket.
"For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20," he added.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) made the announcement in a statement but said it was disappointed with the timing of Pietersen's decision.
Hugh Morris, Managing Director of England Cricket said: "The ECB is disappointed by the timing of Kevin's decision less than four months before we defend our ICC World Twenty20 title.
"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.
"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," he added.
The 31-year-old Pietersen has played 127 ODIs and 36 international T20s for England, making his international debut in 2004 against Zimbabwe in Harare.
Pietersen has scored 4,184 runs at an average of 41.84 in one-day internationals and averages 37.93 in international T20 cricket.
The flamboyant batsman, who discussed his position with the ECB during the recent Test against West Indies at Lord's, has a contract till September 2012.
That contract will be downgraded to reflect the fact that he will only be selected for Test cricket from now on.