England news May 31, 2012

Pietersen retires from international limited-overs cricket

Kevin Pietersen has retired from all international limited-overs cricket with immediate effect. He will remain available for consideration as a specialist Test match player only. The news comes four months before England defend their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka.

"With the intensity of the international schedule and the increasing demands on my body, I think it is the right time to step aside and let the next generation of players come through to gain experience for the World Cup in 2015," Pietersen said. "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.

He has no plans to retire from the IPL, which will further increase tensions between the IPL and international cricket and heighten the debate over whether a window is becoming increasingly necessary to seek accommodation between the tournament and the international circuit.

Pietersen's decision ends protracted discussions about his England future, which he persistently denied, in which he envisaged a future playing Tests and T20s only.

This was prevented by the terms of ECB central contracts which state that any player who makes himself unavailable for either format of one-day cricket is automatically ruled out of selection for both ODIs and T20s.

"For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming World Twenty20," Pietersen said.

The stipulation is seen as essential in protecting England's extensive Test summer in which 50-over cricket still plays a central part. England have just begun one of their busiest summers on record, a programme involving a summer of six Tests, 14 ODIs and four T20s.

An ECB statement said: "Pietersen, who discussed his position with the ECB during the recent Investec Test at Lord's, accepts that his current contract will continue to run through to September 2012 but that the contract will be downgraded to reflect the fact that he will only be selected for Test cricket for the remainder of his current contract.

"The terms of the central contract state that any player making himself unavailable for either of the one-day formats automatically rules himself out of consideration for both formats of the game as planning for both formats is closely linked.

"This is designed to reflect the importance of one-day international cricket which is a strategic priority as England look for improved performances in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2015 ICC cricket World Cup."

Pietersen, 31, has played 127 ODIs and 36 T20s for England, making his international debut in 2004 against Zimbabwe in Harare. He has scored 4184 runs at an average of 41.84 in one-day internationals and averages 37.93 in international T20s.

Hugh Morris, the managing director of England Cricket, said: "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 we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his efforts and we look forward to his continued contributions towards the Test match side."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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