England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier has accused the South African players of trapping controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen into sending provocative text messages to them regarding the team's dressing room and specifically about former Test captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen was dropped for the final Test between England and South Africa earlier this year following allegations that he sent texts to South Africans players that contained condemnation of Strauss during the second Test at Headingley.
The 32-year-old South Africa-born star was also axed for the one-day series against the Proteas and the current World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka, but Pietersen apologised for sending the messages earlier this week and signed a new central contract with the ECB after the two sides agreed a process for his re-integration into the England team.
Collier believes Pietersen was only replying to Blackberry Messenger messages sent by the Proteas players, which he felt were unnecessary.
"That's our understanding. I have not seen those messages and no one has kept those messages, that's why it takes some time," Sports24 quoted Collier, as saying.
"It is a very thin line between fair and unfair. 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 (South Africa) provoked the situation," he added.
However, Collier said the ECB and Pietersen could have dealt with the whole issue in a better manner.
"There was definitely a policy that was happening but we shouldn't blame the South Africans, we should be above that," Collier said.
"I think there was a tactic which was used. I think that is sadly some of the ways of modern sport but as I say we have plenty of people who are strong in the dressing room who provide very good leadership who can deal with those situations," he added. (ANI)