England's dashing batsman Kevin Pietersen has announced his retirement from all international limited-overs cricket with immediate effect.
"After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I am today announcing my retirement from International One Day Cricket," Pietersen said on Thursday.
"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," he added.
The right-hander confirmed that he will continue to play Test cricket for England.
The 31-year-old has played 127 ODIs and 36 international T20s for England, making his international debut in 2004 against Zimbabwe in Harare.
He has scored 4184 runs at an average of 42 in one-day internationals and averages 38 in international T20 cricket.
Pietersen wanted to play in the T20 World Cup later this year but his England contract states he must be available for both formats (ODIs and T20s) or neither.
"For the record, were the selection criteria not in place, I would have readily played for England in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20," he said.
The ECB were also caught unawares at Pietersen's sudden decision and said it affected their planning for the T20 World Cup.
"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," Managing Director England Cricket, Hugh Morris said.
They also defended their decision to leave out Pietersen from selection to the T20 side in view of his retirement from ODIs.
"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," Morris added.