Graeme Smith lashes out at Pietersen

Published: Sunday, September 3, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: South African captain Graeme Smith has lashed out at England batsman Kevin Pietersen for criticising Protea's selection policies in his soon-to-be-released book.

In an extract from his book, ''Crossing the boundary: the early years in my cricketing life'', which was published in South African newspapers this week, Pietersen had blamed affirmative action of national selectors for his move to England from his native South Africa.

'' ... the system is bullshit. It created an artificial team and that will never do anything to encourage the racial integration of cricket in South Africa,'' Pietersen wrote in his book.

Pietersen had also said in his book that Smith had made ''snide comments'' to him during England's tour of South Africa in 2004-05.

''I'm patriotic about my country, and that's why I don't like Kevin Pietersen. The only reason that Kevin and I have never had a relationship is because he slated South Africa,'' Smith told Super Cricket today.

''It was his decision to leave and that's fine, but why does he spend so much time slating our country?'' Smith asked.

Pietersen wrote that the hostile reception he endured from spectators in South Africa had left his mother in tears.

Smith said Pietersen had himself to blame.

''If he had kept his mouth shut he would have had far fewer people angry at him and he would have taken far less flak from the crowds,'' Smith said, adding that Pietersen could feel more heat when England defend the Ashes in Australia this summer.

''Wait until he gets to Australia, the abuse will be far worse there,'' Smith said.

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