Pietersen further damages ties by sending text messages to Proteas
London: England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss are reportedly angry with Kevin Pietersen after it emerged that he had sent text messages to members of the South Africa team during the second Test at Headingley.
The text messages, reportedly sent to fast bowler Dale Steyn and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers, contained “less than flattering comments” about Strauss and his teammates, and this could further damage his relationship with the team.
England must win the Lord’s Test if they are to maintain their position at the top of the world rankings.
South Africa manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee attempted to play down the matter, telling the Daily Mail: “I can confirm that text messages were sent but they contained friendly banter between guys who have played with each other in the past.”
Steyn is a former teammate of Pietersen at Indian Premier League franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, while De Villiers plays for Delhi Daredevils, Pietersen’s current IPL side.
Despite those links, both men are said to be embarrassed that Pietersen made contact with them during a game England needed to win to keep alive hopes of victory in the three-match series.
The texts followed an incident on the opening morning of the Headingley Test, when Pietersen upset team-mates by mingling with the South Africa players as both sides warmed up on the outfield before play, the paper reports.
Pietersen had hinted that he might announce his retirement from Test cricket after the third Test against South Africa, to be played at Lord’s, unless the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) agrees to an acceptable compromise.
His latest announcement has affected his standing in the dressing room, with the player feeling ignored, and viewing his teammates with suspicion over a recent twitter parody account.