South Africans say Pietersen texts were just 'banter'

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 14, 2012 04:43 hrs

London: South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee has issued an official statement in response to the continuing fallout from the Kevin Pietersen text-messaging affair.

Pietersen has been dropped by England for the third and final test against the visiting South Africans after allegations were made that he had sent texts to unnamed Proteas players, criticising England team mates and coaching staff.

Dr Moosajee's statement on the Cricket South Africa website ( described the text messages as "banter" and, as such, "perfectly acceptable".

"There have been untruthful allegations in the media implicating members of our squad in the current issue between Kevin Pietersen and the ECB," the statement said.

"We stand by the same stance we have taken since we heard news about the allegations.

"Text messages were sent, but like we said before it was banter amongst team mates, which we feel is perfectly acceptable.

"The ECB has not made a formal approach to myself or any member of the team to see the text messages, as is currently being reported in the media.

"Allegations that Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers were the recipients of the texts are unfounded, and until such time that the allegations are met with the correct facts and evidence, we shall not comment.

"This internal issue between Kevin Pietersen and the ECB has been publicised for weeks even before we even arrived in the UK, and we do not want to get ourselves involved in an issue that has nothing to do with us.

Moosajee said the South African team would make no further comment on the issue and were focused on preparing for a match they need to win or draw to knock England off the top of the world test rankings.

Pietersen had hinted during a news conference after the second test that he may retire altogether from international cricket, only to announce later via a YouTube message that he was determined to continue playing for England.

Pietersen, who made a brilliant century to help England draw the second test, said on Sunday he was "gutted" to be dropped.

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