An anti-Andy Flower rant from Kevin Pietersen in an England team crisis meeting sealed the star batsman's fate.
Pietersen's international cricket career was ended with the England Cricket Board's reportedly unanimous decision, which it said reflected the team management's view.
Pietersen is the biggest casualty of England's doomed Ashes dries in Australia, despite being the team's highest run scorer.
No actual reason has been given for the axing but it is believed the board felt they could no longer deal with his negative impact on the team.
But the London Telegraph is reporting that the wheels were set in motion for the axing after a crisis meeting following the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Captain Alastair Cook called the meeting, minus the coaching staff, to discuss Flower's relationship with the team which they deemed was beaming like that of a schoolmaster and a pupil.
Pietersen seemed to misjudge the point Cook was making and launched into a tirade against Flower.
Pietersen was then pulled into line by the team but Flower heard about his rant and confronted the batsmen and the situation spiraled from there, ending in Pietersen's axing.
In a joint statement with Pietersen, the England board announced it had left the gifted batsman out of their squads for the upcoming one-day tour of the West Indies and the World T20 in Bangladesh and that this meant the end of his international career.
"Although I am obviously very sad the incredible journey has come to an end, I'm also hugely proud of what we, as a team, have achieved over the past nine years," Pietersen said.
"I feel extremely fortunate to have played at a time of great success for England cricket alongside some of the best cricketers the country has ever produced."
ECB managing director Paul Downton, who oversaw the departure of Flower, hinted the need to restore team harmony had been the key reason behind Pietersen's exit.
"Clearly this was a tough decision because Kevin has been such an outstanding player for England, as the fact that he is the country's leading runscorer in international cricket demonstrates," Downton said.
"However everyone was aware that there was a need to begin the long-term planning after the Australia tour.
"Therefore we have decided the time is right to look to the future and start to rebuild not only the team but also team ethic and philosophy.
"England cricket owes a debt of gratitude to Kevin who has proved to be one of the most talented and exciting players to ever represent the country and his 13,797 runs are a testimony to his immense skill."
Pietersen's 23 Test hundreds, two short of the England record held by Cook, has come amidst a Test tally of 8181 runs at an impressive average of 47.28 in 104 matches.
The right-hander was England's top scorer in this summer's Ashes with 294 runs at 29.40.
Pietersen was able to dominate all-time great bowling in a way given to few batsmen as he proved in a maiden Test hundred when he thrillingly attacked Australian legends Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne to rescue a draw that helped England regain the Ashes at The Oval in 2005.
But the shotmaker's time in the England camp was also beset by off-field problems that saw him fall out with two national team coaches in Peter Moores and Flower.
Pietersen was dropped from the England team in 2012 after sending text messages alleged to be critical of then England captain Andrew Strauss to South African players.
He was later "reintegrated" into the team under new skipper Cook.