Pietersen decision a move to 'invest' in Alastair Cook

Kevin Pietersen has been officially released from his central contract with the ECB.
Kevin Pietersen has been officially released from his central contract with the ECB. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed Kevin Pietersen has been released from his contract, as the side moved to "invest in our captain Alastair Cook".

Read: Kevin Pietersen's colourful England career in pictures

In a joint statement with the Professional Cricketers Association, the ECB said it had been a "matter of great frustration" that it had been unable to respond to "unwarranted and unpleasant criticism" during negotiations.

Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne had described the apparent decision as a "disgrace and a joke" for keeping Pietersen on the England side.

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ECB confirms Kevin Pietersen released from contract

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirms negotiations to release Kevin Pietersen from his contract have concluded.