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

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 12, 2014  at Hambantota

South Africa won by 82 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Ravindra Jadeja knighted by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey help India A clinch victory against South Africa A

Ajinkya Rahane stand-out player for India in 2nd Test at Lord’s, says Graeme Swann

Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar climb up ICC rankings after Lord’s win

James Anderson’s disciplinary hearing to be held on August 1; Ravindra Jadeja’s hearing to be chaired by David Boon

India vs England, 2nd Test at Lord’s: Ishant Sharma’s brilliant spell

Ishant Sharma: The enigma who takes key wickets

Statistical highlights of India vs England 2014, 2nd Test at Lord’s

Ishant Sharma’s email inbox after the Lord’s Test match against England

Ishant Sharma’s house targetted by fans after expecting another failure

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Ishant Sharma: The enigma who takes key wickets

Know Your Exercise – Double leg butt kick

Ajinkya Rahane stand-out player for India in 2nd Test at Lord’s, says Graeme Swann

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Why are Akshara and Devyani fighting?

Bird droppings can be mosquito busters!

Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7: Will Karan Tacker’s new choreographer get him a 30?

Nvidia Shield Tablet powered by a Tegra K1 processor announced

Telecom stocks ring in gain; Nifty zooms 84 points

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here