Collier hopes that his apology resolved any remaining bad blood between the two boards
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier has issued an apology to Cricket South Africa (CSA) after stating that South African players “provoked” batsman Kevin Pietersen into sending derogatory text messages about former Test captain Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen has not represented England in any format since early August after new emerged that he had sent derogatory messages about Strauss, and as a result, he was even left out of the nation’s World Twenty20 squad.
Reports then emerged about Pietersen sharing tactical information with the South Africans, which told them how to dismiss Strauss, but upon further investigation, the ECB announced that these claims were false and all inappropriate information had been deleted off Pietersen’s phone.
However, after issuing a public apology and signing a four-month central contract, Pietersen is back in the squad and ready to go to India after completing his reintegration process as well.
When asked about the gist of the messages Pietersen had sent from his BlackBerry, Collier said: “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 provoked the situation. There was definitely a policy that was happening but we shouldn’t blame the South Africans, we should be above that. I think there was a tactic which was used. I think that is sadly some of the ways of modern sport.”
In an immediate reaction, CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul stated that he was “disappointed” England would stoop to such a low level after losing the Test series, which cost them their number one Test team ranking.
But, the most important thing is that both boards have released statements saying that Collier had apologised about his outburst.
“CSA and ECB have discussed the events which led to Kevin Pietersen’s non-selection for the third test, ricket South Africa has made clear to ECB that the electronic messages were not part of any initiative or plan to undermine the England team or players. ECB has unreservedly accepted that assurance and wishes to reiterate that it has no issue at all with CSA – or the Proteas players – on this matter and appreciates that the South African and England players follow the highest ethical standards of behaviour,” the statement said.
“Although the two boards do not agree on the sequence of events regarding any responses to messages between Kevin Pietersen and certain Proteas players, CSA and SACA accept Mr Collier’s apology based upon his earlier utterances that the team may have acted in a way which was underhand. Both CSA and ECB regard this matter as now closed and will not comment on the confidential information shared in discussion between the boards,” the statement added.
However, even though he has apologised, there continues to be a lot of questions about whether England are still bitter about their loss to South Africa and about Collier’s future as chief executive.
Collier does have a dark secret in his past, which has to do with Allen Stanford and the funding the ECB gave him, but since then he has remained squeaky clean.
Collier has watched England rise into a dominant power since his appointment in 2004, and from that period, the ECB have gone from a position of poverty to boasting profits of more than £20 million.