|Pietersen used Twitter to confirm his exit as the rest of the World Cup squad flew to Chittagong [GALLO/GETTY]
England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out of the Cricket World Cup with an emergency hernia operation.
The one-day opener used his Twitter account to post the news following his side's thrilling win over South Africa.
"Confirming the BREAKING NEWS mate: I fly home tonight. Out of the WC & IPL (Indian Premier League)...Absolutely devastated!!," he posted.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that the English cricket board had asked for a replacement but could not reveal who that was. The request was with the technical committee.
"...not a lot u can do about injuries mate!! onwards & upwards," Pietersen wrote.
"Sad to leave India... Love the people & the hospitality!! Alvida doston," he wrote, meaning "goodbye friends" in Hindi.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had issued a statement on Saturday that Pietersen, 30, was suffering from a hernia but that it would be "managed" by medical staff for the duration of the World Cup which finishes in Mumbai on April 2.
The ECB spokesmen and team officials had their phones switched off.
The England party were flying from Chennai, where they clinched a thrilling six-run victory over South Africa in Group B on Sunday, to Bangladesh for their next match against the co-hosts in Chittagong on Friday.
They were due to arrive at 1:30pm local time (08:00 GMT) in Chittagong, a Bangladesh cricket official said.
Pietersen – a middle-order batsman in Tests – has been opening for England but has struggled so far to make a big impact in their four games, two wins, one defeat and a tie. He was out for two runs on Sunday.