Kevin Pietersen has been left out of the England squad for the third Test against South Africa at Lord's - with Jonny Bairstow recalled.
England announced on Sunday afternoon they have picked Bairstow in place of Pietersen, whose involvement has been in doubt throughout a controversial week. It appears that, despite Pietersen's "change of heart" on Saturday night and commitment to make himself available again for his adopted country in all formats, a sticking point remained over the content of text messages he reportedly sent to opposition players during the drawn Headingley Test.
England's selectors delayed the naming of their 13-man squad by an extra five hours today, for a match they must win to level the Investec series and rescue their world number one status, to allow Pietersen extra time to publicly declare he did not send "derogatory texts" to the South African team.
Pietersen arranged an interview, broadcast to millions on youtube last night, in which he made it clear he had seen the error of his ways and had decided playing cricket for England was more important than other issues.
But crucially, it seems, he did not address the matter of texts he reportedly sent during last week's drawn Test - which have been portrayed in some quarters as being critical of his own team and/or management.
Hugh Morris, managing director England Cricket, said: "During the past week we have held several discussions with Kevin Pietersen and his advisers.
"Following a constructive meeting, it was agreed that a number of actions needed to be completed to re-engage Kevin within the England dressing room.
"A fundamental item was to confirm publicly that no derogatory texts had been sent by Kevin to the South African team.
"This has not been forthcoming, despite clear timelines being set to allow the selectors to pick the squad for the third Investec Test Match.
"We provided an additional six hours this morning to provide every opportunity for agreement to be reached, but regrettably this has not been possible."
Pietersen on Saturday declared he could scarcely wait to rejoin his team-mates this week as they prepare for captain Andrew Strauss' 100th Test, with stakes so high at the home of cricket.
But it appears he has done too little so far to convince the England and Wales Cricket Board that he and his situation are not after all a threat to the team unity so treasured by Strauss and coach Andy Flower.
Morris added: "The success of the England team has been built on a unity of purpose and trust.
"While we have made every attempt to find a solution to enable Kevin to be selected, we have sadly had to conclude that - in the best interest of the team - he will miss the Lord's Test."
Pietersen's absence means a return for 22-year-old Yorkshireman Bairstow, dropped after his third Test against West Indies this year amid concerns he was having trouble handling the short ball at the highest level.
Bairstow was back with a century for England Lions against Australia A this week, though, and was therefore at the front of the queue as Pietersen's Lord's replacement. National selector Geoff Miller said: "We need a squad fully focused on this Test match to be able to play the sort of cricket we know is necessary if we are to win this week and level the series.
"The second Investec Test was a marked improvement on our performance at the start of the series, but we are aware we will need to play some very good cricket this week if we are to level this series.
"While there were 'positives' to take from a number of areas at Headingley, we know we will need to show further improvement if we are win at Lord's.
"There is plenty of international experience among this squad, and they will all be determined to play to their full potential this week."
England squad - Third Investec Test: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) (Captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
what do you think?
Unfortunate but neccessary. KP is an undoubtably talanted player but no one man is bigger than the team and Pieterson has never been a team man. Remember his previous county efforts which contributed mostly to his own finances - no loyalty or even interest in the counties. And, of course, we can't forget that he was once made captain of the english side. It makes sad reading and I hope that he's gone for good and not given a second (third, fourth,fifth?) chance. Good bye and good luck in India.
About right for England management, bit of locker room tittle tattle and its blown up out of all proportion. As for Johnny Bairstow to replace him, well I will let you all make your own minds up about that . We obviously dont want to hang on to our No 1 spot. One test match I wont be watching. Gutted, sick as a parrot and fed up with the ECB. PS let him do his talking on the cricket pitch.