The international career of one of cricket's most devastating batsmen is over, with Kevin Pietersen officially banished by England after his team's recent mauling in Australia.
The long-rumoured fate of the 33-year-old was confirmed in London on Tuesday evening, with the England and Wales Cricket Board's announcement that its management and team selectors had "unanimously" agreed Pietersen should never again be selected for England.
Rebuilding was cited by the ECB's new managing director of cricket operations, Paul Downton, as the primary reason for the decision. He also alluded to the 33-year-old's apparent negative influence on the team by declaring it was the right time 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," Downton said in a statement.
"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."
The immediate repercussion of the decision is that Pietersen, England's leading run-scorer in the just-passed Ashes series, will be ignored for both its looming one-day tour of the West Indies and the World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh in March.
His exit follows that of head coach Andy Flower late last month. It had been speculated the two could not work together constructively and that Flower had wanted Pietersen gone. As of now they are both gone.
Pietersen was quoted in the ECB's announcement, that he was "obviously very sad" at the way his nine-year international career had ended but that he was proud to have "played at a time of great success for England".
"I want to thank everyone for their fantastic support and I wish the team the very best of success going forward," he said. "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."
As a result of the decision Pietersen is expected to be a major drawcard at next Monday's Indian Premier League auction, as the ECB's decision allows him to available for the entire tournament.
The ECB's decision was immediately questioned by former England captain Michael Vaughan, on the basis it had made a major personnel decision before appointing a successor for Flower.
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.
"I think the @ECB_cricket have to explain to everyone exactly what @KP24 [Pietersen] has done so we can all have clarity and reasoning," Vaughan tweeted. "I would have thought a new coach/director would want a full set of players to decide from himself..!!? IMO [In my opinion] that would have included @KP24."
South African-born Pietersen made a dramatic entry to Test cricket in mid-2005, cracking 473 runs at an average of 52.56 in England's historic Ashes victory against Australia.
The tall and powerful right-hander will finish his Test career in fourth place in its runs tally with 8181 at an average of 47.29, but given he had only played 104 Tests and was keen to continue he was on track to easily overtake leader Graham Gooch, who boasts 8900 runs at an average of 42.58 from his 118 Tests.
KEVIN PIETERSEN’S INTERNATIONAL CAREER FOR ENGLAND:
Matches - 104
Runs - 8181
High score - 227 (v Australia 2010)
Average - 47.28
100s - 23
50s - 35
Overs - 218.5
Wickets - 10
Best figures - 3-52
Average - 88.6
Matches - 136
Runs - 4440
High score - 130 (v Pakistan 2012)
Average - 40.73
100s - Nine
50s - 25
Overs - 66.6
Wickets - Seven
Best figures - 2-22
Average - 52.85
Matches - 37
Runs - 1176
High score - 79 (v Zimbabwe 2007)
Average - 37.93
100s - None
50s - Seven
Overs - 5
Wickets - One
Best figures - 1-27
Average - 53