Former England captain Andrew Strauss found himself involved in a fresh row regarding Kevin Pietersen after making highly offensive comments about his former Test colleague while broadcasting on Saturday.
Sky Sports commentator Strauss, believing he was off the air in a break in play during the Lord's bicentenary match between MCC and the Rest of the World, reportedly used a particularly obscene epithet to describe Pietersen.
But although Strauss's remarks weren't heard by Sky viewers, they were picked up on an overseas app receiving a continuous feed of the Sky commentary.
A brief statement issued by Sky said: “Earlier comments were made during a break in play which were heard overseas. We apologise for the language used.”
Pietersen, after making a match-saving hundred in a Test against his native South Africa at Headingley in 2012, was briefly dropped from the England team after sending text messages said to contain derogatory references to Strauss to Proteas players.
Strauss, twice an Ashes-winning captain, retired following South Africa's 2-0 win in that series.
The former opening batsman insisted at the time, however, that he had not quit as a result of the comments made by Pietersen, his predecessor as England captain.
However, he did say in retirement: “I wasn't all that bothered about him (Pietersen) sending texts to the South African players that he knew quite well.
“I did, however, have issues with him criticising me to the opposition.
“That felt like talking out of school, not to mention giving the opposition a way to drive a wedge between Pietersen and myself and the team.
“And if he really had given information about how to get me out, well that amounted to treachery and I would never forgive him.
“I am confident, in retrospect, that he did not give the South Africans information on how to get me out.
“The nagging frustration I still have is that all of that time, effort and commitment from our players over a three-year period to make our environment special and different was undermined in one episode.”
Pietersen was subsequently restored to the England team.
But following England's recent 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board effectively ended the 34-year-old Pietersen's international career -- even though he is England's all-time leading run-scorer across all formats -- in what they said was a move designed to support current captain Alastair Cook.
Pietersen said Friday he still harboured hopes of an England return but playing for the Rest of the World against an equally star-studded MCC side on Saturday he did little to advance his cause by being stumped for 10 off Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.
In Pietersen's absence, England were beaten 1-0 at home to Sri Lanka in a two-Test series last month.
England begin a five-Test series at home to India at Nottingham's Trent Bridge ground on Wednesday. – AFP