England star Kevin Pietersen retired from international limited-overs cricket on Thursday, a decision which took the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) by surprise.
Pietersen, who will continue to be available for Test selection, said in a statement he wished to step aside in order to give the next generation of players a chance to consolidate their position in the team before the 2015 World Cup.
The 32-year-old Pietersen has played 127 One-Day Internationals and 36 International T20s for England. He has scored 4,184 runs at an average of 42 in ODIs and averages 38 in International T20 cricket. His decision comes just three months before England is due to launch the defence of its Twenty20 World Cup crown in September.
“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,” said Pietersen.
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