Downton appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live's Test Match Special on May 22 to discuss a number of issues, but his comments about former England batsman Pietersen drew particular attention.
The ECB chief said the 33-year-old appeared ''disinterested'' and ''distracted'' in the fifth Test in Sydney, and added that he was unable to find anyone within the England set-up who wanted Pietersen to remain in the team.
Pietersen subsequently hit back, insisting the claims were ''wholly untrue'', and on Friday night the ECB issued a statem ent expressing regret over some of the comments made by Downton which it said were " in breach of the settlement agreement" made with the batsman when his central contract was terminated.
The ECB stated: "On May 22 during an interview on BBC Test Match Special, Paul Downton of the ECB made a series of comments about Kevin Pietersen with which Kevin takes issue including the comments he made regarding his perception of Kevin's attitude during the Sydney Test on last winter's Ashes tour. Some of those comments were made in breach of a settlement agreement between the ECB and Kevin Pietersen which was concluded at the time Kevin's central contract was terminated earlier this year.
"Paul Downton and the ECB both apologise to Kevin Pietersen for those comments made that were in breach of the settlement agreement and have confirmed that they will abide by its terms moving forward."
- Sports & Recreation
- Kevin Pietersen
- Paul Downton
- Test Match Special