Smith still stumped about England’s decision to axe Pietersen

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“Kevin’s still got plenty of energy, he’s fit, healthy and still performing well”

Recently retired South Africa captain Graeme Smith has revealed that he is still stumped about the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to terminate Kevin Pietersen’s central contract.

The ECB told Pietersen that they no longer required his services following the national team’s disastrous tour of Australia.

“I’m uninformed, just speaking from an outsider’s perspective, but it would be surprising when you have a quality player like that and you wouldn’t try to make it work,” Smith said. “He’s in the middle of his career and has a few good years left in him. If there’s a guy in his last two seasons and he’s becoming grumpy, then you start to look at things differently.

“But Kevin’s still got plenty of energy, he’s fit, healthy and still performing well. It was surprising.”

Smith and Pietersen were known to have a fierce rivalry in the past, but the former South African skipper is looking to improve relations since both players will be representing Surrey during the ongoing English county season.

“It is good,” Smith said when asked about his relationship with Pietersen. “We don’t spend a huge amount of time together, so it needs to develop.

“We’re in contact. We chat when we’re in places, we can catch up. There’s no doubt it was very competitive at a younger age and maybe at certain parts, once the media and public got hold of it, it grew.

“But I think underneath it all, it’s been a lot calmer and steadier and good over the last part of my career.”

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