Andy Flower, Ashes, Cricket, ECB, England, Kevin Pietersen, ODI, Others
Pietersen has often divided opinion during his time in the side and there are clearly flaws within his game but when at his devastating best, KP is simply unplayable and the 33-year-old has proved it countless times for his adopted country down the years. Let's not forget, Pietersen is England's all-time leading run-scorer across all formats and so often in the past decade he has been the 'go-to' man when things have not being going well.
The ECB, along with the selectors, have wrestled with this decision for some time, well aware that there will be plenty of fans and pundits who will be against the move. Pietersen himself has made it plain that he feels he has been axed far too early, saying he has "deep regret" his time as an England player has come to an end now, while he claims he has plenty more to give to the game despite his advancing years.
Clearly something had to be done in the wake of the Ashes and One-Day debacles down under and it has been decided getting rid of coach Andy Flower and talismanic batsman Pietersen was the way to go as the powers that be try to take England forward. But in axing the South African-born star, England are dispensing with one of the most talented players to have ever graced the game and someone who, despite his mistakes, will be awfully hard to replace.
The exact reasons why KP has been shown the door have yet to be revealed and it will be interesting if a detailed explanation for the change is forthcoming. There has been much speculation, hearsay and rumours about Pietersen's supposed disruptive influence in the dressing room and, while he obviously has had his issues with some team-mates in the past - most notably former captain Andrew Strauss - those closest to the squad in the very recent past say there has been no rift behind the scenes and Pietersen has got on with things with the utmost professionalism.
It appears the selectors have decided England need a fresh new start and, with that policy in mind, expect a few more senior players to be told their time in the squad is up as they look to build a new side around emerging talent like Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Johnny Bairstow.
There have been widespread accusations that Pietersen's inability to be a team-player has cost him his place in the side in the end and, certainly, the way he often threw away his wicket with some outlandish, glory shots, back up these claims. But fans who follow cricket regularly know the very best winning teams need a mixture of characters who can bring different qualities and offer varied skills. Pietersen was a maverick at times and one the ECB have grown tired of, but it's a decision they may just come to rue over the next 12 months.