I don't like Pietersen: Smith | india | Hindustan Times
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I don't like Pietersen: Smith

"It was his decision to leave and that's fine, but why does he spend so much time slating our country," said the SA captain hitting back at him.

india Updated: Sep 02, 2006 18:05 IST

South African skipper Graeme Smith has hit back at star England batsman Kevin Pietersen for being critical of South Africa's selection policies.

"I'm patriotic and that's why I don't like Kevin Pietersen," Smith said.

"The only reason that Kevin and I have never had a relationship is because he slated South Africa. It was his decision to leave and that's fine, but why does he spend so much time slating our country?" Smith was quoted as saying in the 'Guardian'.

Pietersen, a South African-born cricketer who switched over to play for England, his mother's place of birth, had recently blamed racial discrimination in South Africa for his switchover.

Also, in his book 'Crossing the Boundary', Pietersen has written that the South African system of selection was a "bullshit" and called Smith a "muppet".

"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 says.

On Pietersen's comment that the hostile reception from spectators in South Africa had left his mother in tears, Smith said the batsman himself was to be blamed for the situation.

"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," Smith said.