Pietersen apologizes for texts to S Africans

Pietersen apologizes for texts to S Africans

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Pietersen apologizes for texts to S Africans

Kevin Pietersen says he is sorry for the ‘provocative’ texts he sent to some members of the South African team. REUTERS photo

England batsman Kevin Pietersen apologized yesterday for sending “provocative” text messages to South African players but team officials said it was too soon to say if he would be recalled to the side.
Last weekend, Pietersen was dramatically dropped from the squad for this week’s third and final Test at Lord’s, despite scoring a superb 149 in the drawn second Test at Headingley.

Despite that innings, Pietersen was axed for failing to reveal the contents of those text messages, some of which were said to contain criticisms of England captain Andrew Strauss.

South Africa-born Pietersen, in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement, admitted: “I did send what you might call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team. “The texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein myself in sometimes. I apologize to Straussy and the team for the inappropriate remarks at the press conference and for the texts.

“I truly didn’t mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important games at stake.” England managing director Hugh Morris said: “We are in receipt of Kevin’s apology but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years.

“A successful conclusion to this process is in everyone’s best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersen’s potential selection in all forms of the game to be considered,” he added.

Strauss, for whom the match at Lord’s, his Middlesex home ground, will be his 100th Test and 50th as captain, said the selectors had made a “brave and correct decision” to omit Kevin Pietersen.

England go into the game starting today 1-0 down in the three-match series and needs to win if it is to prevent South Africa replacing the team as the world’s number one Test side.