Kevin Pietersen: ECB sorry over David Collier claims

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board has apologised to Cricket South Africa for claiming Kevin Pietersen was coaxed into sending messages about team-mates.

The ECB "unreservedly accepts" that the messages were not part of a plan to undermine the England team.

The two parties still disagree on the sequence of events, but consider the matter closed.

Troubled times for Pietersen

31 May 2012: Announces retirement from international limited-overs cricket

11 Aug: Commits to all forms of international cricket in a YouTube interview

12 Aug: Dropped for third Test against South Africa for sending "provocative texts" about team-mates to opposition players

21 Aug: Left out of England squad for World Twenty20

7 Sept: Not awarded ECB central contract

18 Sept: Omitted from England Test squad for winter tour of India

3 Oct: New four-month contract agreed

But the ECB said it wished to "reiterate that it has no issue at all with CSA or the Proteas players".

Earlier this month ECB chief executive David Collier told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek that there was a "policy" and a "tactic" used by South Africa, claiming Pietersen, 32, responded to messages sent by opposition players.

However, CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul told BBC World Service: "That's not the way we play our cricket.

"It is absolute rubbish we would have a conspiracy to talk to Kevin Pietersen and provoke him by sending messages."

After both boards discussed the matter, an apology was issued by the ECB and accepted by CSA.

Pietersen was dropped for the third Test after he allegedly sent messages criticising England captain Andrew Strauss to South Africa players during the second Test between the sides in August.

As the messages were deleted, the ECB relied on "binding assurances" from Pietersen that they were not derogatory before accepting his apology and handing him a new four-month contract.

Pietersen will undergo a reintegration period involving face-to-face meetings to rebuild trust with the other players.