Kevin Pietersen can say goodbye to his chances of being picked by England for the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown.
The South Africa-born batsman was dropped for the must-win Lord's Test against his native country for failing to apologise for texts sent to opposition players during the drawn match at Headingley.
The England and Wales Cricket Board have been concerned as to the content of those messages and whether they were derogatory about Pietersen's team-mates or captain Andrew Strauss. England's preparations for a must-win match against South Africa have thus been compromised.
Strauss inevitably found himself responding to the latest developments in the Pietersen controversy on the eve of his 100th Test on his home ground. In his captain's press conference, he admitted to feeling "let down" by Pietersen.
His caution was also notable as he described an apology sent by Pietersen's agent via lawyers to the ECB last night as the "first step" in a situation where time will have to be part of the healing process to try to ensure lost trust is rebuilt.
Pietersen, who is thought to be abroad after being ruled unavailable for Surrey, can be left in little doubt that he is on the outside of the England team and faces a long road back - one that will not be trodden before England must confirm their final 15 to the International Cricket Council on Saturday to travel to Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20.
"I feel a little bit let down by Kevin, if I'm honest," said Strauss. "But this isn't an issue between me and Kevin. It's a broader issue than that and it's very important that I act in the best interests of England cricket team.
"It's not a personal thing. I've always got on very well with Kevin, which is why some of the stuff has been quite surprising to me."
If the 32-year-old Pietersen is to return for his adopted country at any point, it seems his first acknowledgement of apparent contrition may have begun the process but nothing more.
"It's a step forward, it's a step in the right direction," said Strauss. "But this issue hasn't just been about the text messages. There's been a bit more of a broader issue about trust and mutual respect, and that issue I'm very keen to resolve. It's not going to be resolved overnight."