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Graeme Smith angry over ECB claim Kevin Pietersen was provoked

Graeme Smith: voiced his disapproval

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Graeme Smith says accusations South Africa provoked Kevin Pietersen into criticising his England team-mates are "totally unwarranted".

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier suggested on Sunday that Pietersen had fallen into a trap when he insulted captain Andrew Strauss in text messages to South African players during the teams' summer Test series.

The claim has already been flatly denied by Cricket South Africa, and now Proteas captain Smith has voiced his disapproval.

"In the Proteas we pride ourselves on being a sporting and ethical team," Smith said in a statement released by the SA Cricketers' Association.

"We talk a lot about values and our approach to the game. We play hard but we play fair and any suggestions that we did this as a tactic is totally unwarranted and unnecessary."

The organisation's chief executive Tony Irish has gone further, demanding an apology from Collier.

He said: "In international cricket if a player makes an inflammatory comment or accusation he gets punished - look what happened to Kevin Pietersen himself.

"The players believe that the same should apply to administrators especially when this is done publicly. Our players are awaiting an apology."