Home > News >

Graeme Smith surprised with Kevin Pietersen’s axing

Graeme Smith (above) says his relationship with Kevin Pietersen is improving © Getty Images
Graeme Smith (above) says his relationship with Kevin Pietersen is improving © Getty Images

London: Apr 3, 2014

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Thursday expressed his surprise at England‘s decision to end the international career of his Surrey team-mate Kevin Pietersen.

Pietersen, 33, was sensationally axed by England in the aftermath of their 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia, despite the South Africa-born batsman being his country’s leading run-scorer across all formats.

England captain Alastair Cook this week described the England and Wales Cricket Board’s decision to jettison Pietersen as a “brave call”, but Smith feels that the ECB took its decision too hastily.

“I’m uninformed, just speaking from an outsider’s perspective, but it would be surprising when you have a really quality player like that, and you wouldn’t try to make it work,” said Smith.

“He’s in the middle of his career, has a few good years left in him. If there’s a guy in his last two seasons and he’s becoming grumpy, then you start to look at things differently.

“But Kevin’s still got plenty of energy, he’s fit, healthy and still performing well. It was surprising.”

Smith retired from international cricket in March after a 109-game run as South Africa captain and having seen his debut season at Surrey ruined by an ankle injury, he is eager to make up for lost time in 2014.

Surrey begin their County Championship Division Two campaign on Sunday, hosting Glamorgan at The Oval, and Smith is excited by the prospect of taking to the crease alongside Pietersen.

“I think it’s a huge bonus for us to have a match-winner like Kevin — a powerhouse, crowd-puller — as part of our team,” Smith said.

“I know the club is excited. He’s motivated, which is wonderful, and we’re looking forward to it.”

While the pair were fierce rivals during their Test careers, Smith says that their relationship is now improving steadily.

“It is good. We don’t spend a huge amount of time together, so it needs to develop,” he said.

“We’re in contact. We chat when we’re in places we can catch up.  There’s no doubt it was very competitive at a younger age, and maybe at certain parts once the media and public get hold of it, it grows. But I think underneath it all, it’s been a lot calmer and steadier and good over the last part of my career.”

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail tales

Anil Kumble Australia India Moments in history Ricky Ponting South Africa

India vs Australia, 3rd Test at Melbourne: Joe Burns named in 13-man squad replacing injured Mitchell Marsh

Jason Holder congratulated by Darren Sammy on earning West Indies ODI captaincy

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India were distracted by practice pitches and food, claims local media

New Zealand vs Sri Lanka 2014-15: Brendon McCullum returns as middle-order batsman

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Leon Johnson urges Windies batsmen to perform better

Batsman given hit wicket after mobile phone falls on stumps

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Highlights

India’s collapse against Australia on 2nd Test at Brisbane: Did the visitors really bat badly on Day 4?

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Marks out of 10 for the hosts

India vs Australia 2014-15, Brisbane: India marks out of 10

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here