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    ECB apologises to SA over KP 'text message' claim

    London: The England and Wales Cricket Board has apologised to South Africa over allegations Proteas players provoked Kevin Pietersen in the text message saga that saw him excluded from England's team.

    ECB chief executive David Collier claimed South Africans instigated the exchange, where Pietersen made derogatory comments about his then-captain Andrew Strauss in messages to his rivals.

    But the ECB said on Monday that "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 ... both CSA and ECB regard this matter as now closed."

    The ECB, however, said that it still doesn't agree with Cricket South Africa on "the sequence of events regarding any responses to messages between Kevin Pietersen and certain Proteas players."