ECB chief Collier says sorry to CSA

England cricket chief David Collier has been forced to apologise to South Africa after accusing their players of provoking Kevin Pietersen in the text message row that led to the batsman being dropped.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) was furious about the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive's comments last week and demanded he say sorry.

South Africa-born Pietersen was dropped by England for the third and final Test between the two countries at Lord's in August after admitting to sending provocative texts to the tourists but denying allegations he told them how to get captain Andrew Strauss out.

"Cricket 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," an ECB statement said on Monday.

“ECB has unreservedly accepted that assurance and wishes to reiterate that it has no issue at all with CSA.

"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 (South African Cricketers' Association) accept Mr Collier's apology."

Pietersen has been dropped for this month's tour of India but could be recalled after agreeing to a "reintegration" period after apologising to the ECB and Strauss who retired after the Lord's Test against South Africa.

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