Home > News >

Smith rubbishes Atherton’s claims of South Africa leaking Pietersen’s text messages

Smith rubbishes Atherton's claims of South Africa leaking Pietersen's text messages

Graeme Smith says he has seen nothing damaging in Kevin Pietersen’s controversial texts © AFP

London: Aug 16, 2012

 

South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said suggestions his side deliberately leaked text messages from Kevin Pietersen are “the biggest load of rubbish I have heard”.

 

England will go into Thursday’s third Test at Lord’s without their star batsman after South Africa-born Pietersen was dropped last weekend, despite scoring 149 in the drawn second Test in Leeds, for failing to reveal the contents of those text messages, some of which were said to contain criticisms of England captain Andrew Strauss.

 

Pietersen apologised on Wednesday for the “provocative” texts but it was too late to win back his place in the team for a match starting Thursday where the tourists only need to avoid defeat to replace England as the world’s number one Test side.

 

Clearly, South Africa’s task is easier if England’s leading batsman is not playing but Smith, who has had plenty of run-ins with Pietersen in the past, insisted his team had not initiated the row, although the awkward question of how the texts got into the public arena remains.

 

“For us to be dragged into this has been disappointing,” Smith said at Lord’s on Wednesday.

 

“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.

 

“I think the notion that we have tried to ‘nail’ Kevin or put things out in the media is just ridiculous.”

 

South Africa’s management have described the texts as “banter” and opening batsman Smith was at a loss to understand how the issue had escalated to the stage of England dropping Pietersen.

 

“I have personally seen nothing (damaging in the texts),” said Smith. “I find it quite amazing that it’s still going on and that it has reached this point.

 

“In our dressing room, it’s something that’s hardly been discussed — except the amount of time and coverage that it’s getting. But obviously Kevin feels that he’s done something wrong and he has apologised for that.

 

“From our perspective it’s just been so overboard really. I can’t believe it’s still carrying on.”

 

Smith, who on Thursday is set to break Australia great Allan Border’s record of 93 Tests as captain by leading the Proteas for the 94th time, said England would struggle to fill the gap vacated by Pietersen.

 

“He is obviously a world-class cricketer, and for me to say they’re not going to miss him is wrong,” said Smith, whose 259 at Lord’s in 2003 is the second-highest individual Test score at the ‘home of cricket’.

 

“But there is a talent pool in England cricket that we need to respect, Jonny Bairstow (Pietersen’s replacement) and the guys who have been given the opportunity,” added Smith.

 

“We have come to play cricket; we wanted to be the best cricket team; we want to play better cricket than England — that’s what we came here to do.” (AFP)

 in Pietersen axe

LONDON (AFP) – (AFP)

South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said suggestions his side deliberately leaked text messages from Kevin Pietersen are “the biggest load of rubbish I have heard”.
England will go into Thursday’s third Test at Lord’s without their star batsman after South Africa-born Pietersen was dropped last weekend, despite scoring 149 in the drawn second Test in Leeds, for failing to reveal the contents of those text messages, some of which were said to contain criticisms of England captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen apologised on Wednesday for the “provocative” texts but it was too late to win back his place in the team for a match starting Thursday where the tourists only need to avoid defeat to replace England as the world’s number one Test side.
Clearly, South Africa’s task is easier if England’s leading batsman is not playing but Smith, who has had plenty of run-ins with Pietersen in the past, insisted his team had not initiated the row, although the awkward question of how the texts got into the public arena remains.
“For us to be dragged into this has been disappointing,” Smith said at Lord’s on Wednesday.
“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.
“I think the notion that we have tried to ‘nail’ Kevin or put things out in the media is just ridiculous.”
South Africa’s management have described the texts as “banter” and opening batsman Smith was at a loss to understand how the issue had escalated to the stage of England dropping Pietersen.
“I have personally seen nothing (damaging in the texts),” said Smith. “I find it quite amazing that it’s still going on and that it has reached this point.
“In our dressing room, it’s something that’s hardly been discussed — except the amount of time and coverage that it’s getting.
“But obviously Kevin feels that he’s done something wrong and he has apologised for that.
“From our perspective it’s just been so overboard really. I can’t believe it’s still carrying on.”
Smith, who on Thursday is set to break Australia great Allan Border’s record of 93 Tests as captain by leading the Proteas for the 94th time, said England would struggle to fill the gap vacated by Pietersen.
“He is obviously a world-class cricketer, and for me to say they’re not going to miss him is wrong,” said Smith, whose 259 at Lord’s in 2003 is the second-highest individual Test score at the ‘home of cricket’.
“But there is a talent pool in England cricket that we need to respect, Jonny Bairstow (Pietersen’s replacement) and the guys who have been given the opportunity,” added Smith.
“We have come to play cricket; we wanted to be the best cricket team; we want to play better cricket than England — that’s what we came here to do.”

photo_1345046742674-1-1.jpg
Graeme Smith says he has seen nothing damaging in Kevin Pietersen’s controversial texts
AFP
Ian Kington

© AFP

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Rain interrupts play

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Incheon Asian Games 2014 India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Perth Scorchers

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Match stopped due to rain

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights lose Kane Williamson early, make slow start

Rohit Sharma launches cleanliness campaign

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

India vs West Indies 2014: Delhi High Court gives green signal to DDCA for Feroz Shah Kotla ODI

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Players scoring 50-plus in both innings of a Test match most number of times

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Alcohol could leave you sleepless even after you have quit

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

Ello might be ad-free, but it is far from claiming Facebook’s throne

Champions League T20 2014 Points Table & Results of CLT20: Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings top Group A Points Tally, through to semis

NGOs pursue education for all

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Cleanliness campaign launched by Rohit Sharma

Samsung reportedly manufacturing displays for Apple’s iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro

Bigg Boss 8: Karishma Tanna takes a dig at Diandra Soares’ bikini!

Krushna Abhishek and Bharti Singh reunite for Comedy Classes!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here