Kevin Pietersen has described his time playing for England as an 'honour' after it was announced by the England Cricket Board that he wouldn't be selected for the upcoming World Twenty20 tournament and the tour of the West Indies.
The 33-year-old played 104 tests - averaging over 47 with the bat - and 136 one day internationals for his country.
Pietersen was England's highest run-scorer during their disastrous Ashes tour to Australia this winter, during which they suffered the ignominy of a 5-0 whitewash in the test series.
The Surrey batsman is currently England's 4th highest run scorer of all time - but says it is now time to look forward to a new chapter in his career.
"Playing cricket for my country has been an honour," he said in a joint-statement with the ECB.
"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."
Pietersen began his international career with England back in November 2004, and helped England reclaim the Ashes for the first time since 1986 with a series-clinching 158 during the 5th test at the Oval the following summer.
The ECB confirmed in their statement that Pietersen had met with Paul Downton, the Managing Director England Cricket, and told of the decision to start looking towards the future.
Downton said: "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.
"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."
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