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

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

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

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

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

Moeen Ali’s ‘Save Gaza’ wristband suspension: Cricket and political sentiments don’t mix

Indian cricketers in County Championship: Career Statistics

Denesh Ramdin: Didn’t expect Sunil Narine to bowl Super Over maiden

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara — India’s most dependable partnership in recent times

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 3 at Southampton: MS Dhoni completes 31st half-century; India reach 323/8 at stumps

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: Draw the most likely result, feels Sunil Gavaskar

Stuart Broad: To go into the company of Wasim, Waqar and Walsh, Ambrose is a huge honour

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: No fracture for Ian Bell after being hit on thumb

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: Disappointed in the manner I got out, admits Ajinkya Rahane

BCCI’s changes age-limit to 23 for CK Nayudu Trophy

Moeen Ali – the part-timer keeps pegging India back with crucial wickets

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India’s sloppy batting and other highlights of play on Day 3

India’s poor shot selection gives England advantage on Day 3 of 3rd Test at Southampton

‘Yuvraj, Ganguly, Zaheer and Indian team to come together in support of my charitable cause’

Moeen Ali’s ‘Save Gaza’ wristband suspension: Cricket and political sentiments don’t mix

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

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

India vs England, 3rd Test at Southampton: Draw the most likely result, feels Sunil Gavaskar

Revealed: Salman Khan’s guest list for Eid party includes Karan Johar, Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan!

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Stuart Broad: To go into the company of Wasim, Waqar and Walsh, Ambrose is a huge honour

FDI in telecom jumps manifold to $1.5 billion in April-May

What does Sharmila Tagore like about would be son-in-law Kunal Khemu?

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display given a speed boost, prices slashed across the range

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here