Kevin Pietersen has issued an apology to the England and Wales Cricket Board for sending 'provocative' text messages to members of the South African side.

The England batsman was dropped from the 13-man squad that will play South Africa in a series-deciding Test match at Lord's on Thursday and his international career was placed in doubt.

Pietersen had previously made himself unavailable for the shorter forms of the game, but decided to go back on this decision and instead declared that he will willing to play one-day and Twenty20 internationals.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen has alienated himself from his England colleagues in recent days [Reuters]

The 32-year-old was told that he would have to admit to the ECB about the test messages and his apology has now been made available.

"I did send what you might call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team," admitted Pietersen.

"The texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein myself in sometimes.

"I apologise to Straussy and the team for the inappropriate remarks at the press conference and for the texts. I truly didn't mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important games at stake."

Pietersen's place in the England set-up is still under question as managing director Hugh Morris revealed that there would be further talks before any decision was made on his future.

"We are in receipt of Kevin's apology, but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years," said Morris.

"Critically, those discussions should take place behind closed doors, rather than in the media spotlight.

"A successful conclusion to this process is in everyone's best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersen's potential selection in all forms of the game to be considered.

"At the moment we have an important Investec Test match to focus on and therefore ECB will make no further comment until such time as is appropriate."

While there is no indication of when the issue will be resolved, there will be an announcement on Saturday about the England Twenty20 squad for the upcoming World Cup which Pitersen has now made himself available for selection.