South Africa: KP texts were only banter

SOUTH Africa officials have dismissed as “perfectly acceptable banter” the text messages that appear to have spelled the end of England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s Test career.

Pietersen has been dropped for this week’s must-win third match against the tourists, amid claims he sent disparaging texts about England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss to Proteas players.

Dr Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa’s team manager, acknowledge the messages existed but played down their significance and denied that Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers had been the recipients.

“There has been untruthful allegations in the media implicating members of our squad in the current issue between Kevin Pietersen and the England and Wales Cricket Board,” Moosajee said. “We stand by the same stance we have taken since we heard these allegations. Yes, text messages were sent but like we said before it was banter among team-mates, which is perfectly acceptable.”