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Pietersen sorry for 'provocative' texts
22:08 AEST Wed Aug 15 2012

England batsman Kevin Pietersen apologised on Wednesday for sending "provocative" text messages to South African players but team officials said it was too soon to say if he would be recalled to the side.

Last weekend, Pietersen was dramatically dropped from England's squad for this week's third and final Test at Lord's, despite scoring a superb 149 at Headingley, after failing to reveal the contents of those text messages.

South Africa-born Pietersen, in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement, admitted: "I did send what you might call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team. The texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein myself in sometimes.

"I apologise to Straussy (England captain Andrew Strauss) and the team for the inappropriate remarks at the press conference and for the texts.

"I truly didn't mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important games at stake."

England managing director Hugh Morris said: "We are in receipt of Kevin's apology but further discussions need to take place to establish whether it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in recent years.

"Critically, those discussions should take place behind closed doors, rather than in the media spotlight.

"A successful conclusion to this process is in everyone's best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersen's potential selection in all forms of the game to be considered."

Morris said they were now focussing on the match and would not make any further comment "until such time as is appropriate".

England go into the match 1-0 down in the three-match series, with the hosts' world No.1 Test ranking at stake.