Smith amazed by Pietersen saga

PA Sport
Graeme Smith has been baffled by the Kevin Pietersen saga
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Graeme Smith has been baffled by the Kevin Pietersen saga

Graeme Smith has underlined South Africa's status in the Kevin Pietersen saga as bemused, and increasingly unwilling, bystanders.

Smith takes umbrage with the depiction of his tourists as somehow compliant in the escalation of Pietersen's alienation from the England team - specifically the 'leaking' of text messages the South Africa-born batsman sent to opposition players during the drawn Headingley Test.

"I find it quite amazing that it's still going on and that it has reached this point," said Smith. "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."

He went on: "That's to get back into the England set-up and to sort out relationships - that's obviously the process he needs to take.

"From our perspective it's just been so overboard really. I can't believe it's still carrying on."

Smith insists, to the best of his knowledge, there is nothing in the texts to either embarrass Pietersen or upset his England colleagues.

"I have personally seen nothing," he said.

"I think the notion that we have tried to 'nail' Kevin or put things out in the media is just ridiculous. I have never heard such a load of rubbish.

"For us to be dragged into this has been disappointing. But obviously it's a big story, and we have just got to get on with it now and try and focus on the cricket.

"I am amazed how the story got out in the first place. That's the most amazing thing for me. 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."

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