Kevin Pietersen. File picture: Rick Rycroft

London - The England and Wales Cricket Board has apologized to Kevin Pietersen after its head criticized the batsman's attitude in the winter Ashes collapse against Australia.

ECB managing director Paul Downton said the 33-year-old Pietersen appeared “disinterested” and “distracted” in the fifth test of the 5-0 series defeat, and claimed in the radio interview that he was unable to find anyone within the England setup who wanted the player to remain in the team.

Pietersen denied the allegations, and on Friday the ECB said “Paul Downton and the ECB both apologize to Kevin Pietersen for those comments made that were in breach of the settlement agreement” made with the batsman when his England contract was terminated earlier this year.

Both sides were bound by confidentiality provisions.