South Africa fed up with Kevin Pietersen saga
GRAEME Smith yesterday underlined South Africa’s status in the Kevin Pietersen saga as bemused, and increasingly unwilling, bystanders.
Smith takes umbrage with the depiction of his tourists as somehow compliant in the escalation of Pietersen’s alienation from the England team – specifically the ‘leaking’ of text messages the South Africa-born batsman sent to opposition players during the drawn Headingley Test.
Those communications, described subsequently by South Africa management as “banter”, led directly to Pietersen being left out of the crucial third Investec Test at Lord’s. It is there today that Pietersen’s absence may be keenly felt by England, in a match they must win to salvage their world No 1 position.
By contrast, it is to the obvious advantage of the tourists as they scent series victory and eye England’s table-topping perch in the International Cricket Council Test rankings. Their captain, however, gives no credence to the suggestion South Africa deliberately put Pietersen’s text messages in the public domain or sowed seeds of doubt about the possibility they contained derogatory remarks about his own team-mates.
“In our dressing-room, it’s something that’s hardly been discussed – except the amount of time and coverage that it’s getting,” said Smith. “But obviously Kevin feels that he’s done something wrong and he has apologised for that. That’s to get back into the England set-up and to sort out relationships –that’s obviously the process he needs to take. From our perspective it’s just been so overboard really.”
Smith insists, to the best of his knowledge, there is nothing in the texts to either embarrass Pietersen or upset his England colleagues.
“I have personally seen nothing,” he said. “I think the notion that we have tried to ‘nail’ Kevin or put things out in the media is just ridiculous.
“For us to be dragged into this has been disappointing. We have just got to get on with it now and try and focus on the cricket.
“I heard [former England captain] Mike Atherton wrote a column about it saying we did it on purpose. That’s the biggest load of rubbish I have heard – I can’t believe it has got to that point.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west