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KP highs & lows

Kevin Pietersen has taken significant steps to returning to action with England by publicly apologising for his activities over a tumultuous summer before committing his future to international cricket.

Here, we trace the peaks and troughs in Pietersen's story so far.

HIGHS

December 1999: Pietersen comes to England's attention for the first time, playing against them for KwaZulu Natal aged 19 and taking four wickets including Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain and Michael Vaughan.

2000: Travels to England with a view to qualifying to play international cricket, having become frustrated with the quota selection system in South Africa. A century on trial for Warwickshire 2nds is not enough to win a contract at Edgbaston but a year later, Pietersen signs for Nottinghamshire.

2004-05: After making his England one-day international debut in Zimbabwe, he announces himself with three centuries in a 4-1 defeat in his native country.

Summer 2005: Pietersen is preferred to Graham Thorpe in England's squad for the first Test against Australia. He ends the season with an Ashes-clinching maiden Test century at The Oval.

August 2008: Takes over the captaincy of both Test and one-day international teams. Marks his first match as captain, against his native country, with a century.

2009-10: Is player of the tournament as England win their first ever International Cricket Council silverware, under Paul Collingwood's captaincy, in the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

2010-11: A career-best double-hundred in Adelaide is a personal highlight as England retain the Ashes in Australia - their first series win there in a quarter of a century.

Summer 2011: Pietersen is part of a prolific batting order as England go to the top of the ICC world Test rankings with a 4-0 trouncing of India.

LOWS

2006-07: Averages more than 50 as England bid to retain the Ashes but is part of a winter of failure for the team, including a 5-0 trouncing in Australia under Andrew Flintoff and then a controversial early exit from the World Cup in the Caribbean.

January 2009: After a fraught tour of India, interrupted by terrorist attacks on Mumbai, a rift between Pietersen and coach Peter Moores costs both men their jobs. Pietersen returns to the ranks for the tour of the West Indies as the Andrew Strauss-Andy Flower captain-coach axis takes hold.

Summer 2009: Surgery on an Achilles injury rules Pietersen out of the final three Ashes Tests as England regain the urn on home soil.

Summer 2010: Pietersen leaves Hampshire in controversial circumstances. He announces, in colourful language on his Twitter account, that he is dropped for England's ODI series at home to Pakistan and is to join Surrey. The England and Wales Cricket Board fine him for his outburst.

2010-11: Pietersen is promoted to open in the World Cup, but his campaign is cut short when he announces his hernia pain is too much to bear.

2011-12: A 5-0 ODI whitewash defeat in India follows the publication of Graeme Swann's autobiography, in which the off-spinner contends Pietersen was never cut out to be a captain. After Pietersen's match-winning innings under stand-in leader Swann in a one-off Twenty20 in Kolkata, the pair share an awkward press conference.

2012: May - Is again fined by the ECB for criticising Sky commentator Nick Knight on Twitter. Barely a week later comes the shock announcement that he is to retire, at the age of 31, from all limited-overs international cricket.

July - Attempts by Pietersen to broker a deal to play in England's defence of their World Twenty20 crown, in Sri Lanka in September, come to nought when a preliminary 30-man squad is announced without his name in the list.

August - Pietersen refuses to give assurances that the final match against South Africa at Lord's will not be his last for England, but is then left out amid allegations he sent derogatory BBM messages about his international team-mates to members of the tourists' squad. Despite apologising, Pietersen is omitted from both the World Twenty20 and the three-match NatWest International T20 Series against South Africa.

September - Pietersen is not among the list of 10 players given an annual central contract for 2012-13 by the England and Wales Cricket Board, nor the Test squad to tour India.

October - The ECB confirm an agreement has been reached for Pietersen to be re-integrated into the England set-up for the remainder of 2012. The BBM messages issue is also put to bed with Pietersen apologising to Andrew Strauss for "the impact the recent controversies have had on the England team" over the summer.