CSA slams ECB, says players didn't set up Pietersen

Cricket South Africa has issued a statement strongly denying allegations by the CEO of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), David Collier, that it was South African players who had instigated the text message row involving the ECB and Kevin Pietersen.

The release quoted the acting CEO of Cricket South Africa, Jacques Faul, as saying that the allegations were "absolute rubbish", adding that he was disappointed that Collier had not brought up the issue with him during a face to face meeting the two had earlier, before he made statements to the media. Faul added that the text message row was an "internal" ECB matter.

The ECB CEO said Pietersen was set up: AP

The entire release is reproduced below:

The statement (CSA) on Monday dismissed with contempt allegations by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO, David Collier, that South African players had instigated the text message row involving the ECB and Kevin Pietersen.

"This is absolute rubbish," commented CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul. "What is particularly disappointing is that I had a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Collier when I was in London for the Lord's Test match. He did not raise this allegation with me then and I would have thought as a matter of courtesy and decency he would have spoken to me about it before going public in the Media.

"It is not the way CSA goes about its business and it is not the way the ECB have done business with us in the past either. It is very disappointing because in the past our relationships with the ECB have always been cordial and constructive.

"This is an internal ECB matter in which we do not wish to be involved. It served as a distraction to our players that we did not need during the Test series."

Meanwhile the Telegraph reported that Cricket South Africa officials will study transcripts of Collier’s interview on Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme to verify his quotes before they decide whether to request a formal apology.

Collier had reportedly said, “These were responses to messages from certain members of the South Africa team and I would not condone an England player doing it if it was the other way around, and I certainly think they provoked the situation."

The controversy erupted soon after Pietersen and the ECB announced that they had agreed on a process to reintegrate him into the England team.