South Africans rubbish text row claims

South Africa cricket officials have rubbished claims their players provoked the text message row that led to England axing batsman Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen was dropped for the final Test and a one-day international series against South Africa and the World Twenty20 tournament after allegedly criticising England captain Andrew Strauss in texts to South African players.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier claimed on Sunday in a radio interview that the Pietersen texts were a response to messages from the opposition.

But Cricket South Africa (CSA) acting chief executive Jacques Faul poured scorn on the claims by Collier, labelling them “absolute rubbish” in a statement.

“What is particularly disappointing is that I had a face-to-face meeeting with Collier when in London for the Lord’s Test and he did not raise this allegation with me then.

“I would have thought, as a matter of courtesy and decency, that he would have spoken to me about it before going public in the media,” said Faul on Monday.

“It is not the way CSA goes about its business and it is not the way the ECB has done business with us in the past either. It is very disappointing because our relationships have always been cordial and constructive.

“This is an internal ECB matter in which we do not wish to be involved. It served as a distraction to our players that we did not need during the Test series.”

South Africa-born Pietersen will be in South Africa this month as part of the Delhi Daredevils squad competing in the fourth edition of the Champions League Twenty20 competition.

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