London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Monday apologised for a comment by its chief executive, David Collier, that South Africa provoked Kevin Pietersen into the message affair which led to his exile from the England team.
Cricket South Africa has accepted the apology.
Collier's comments threatened a breakdown in relations between the two Boards and after a week of negotiations behind the scenes, the ECB issued a statement on Monday.
But the apology was hardly fulsome. The two Boards still disagree over the sequence of events, mainly who made the first contact between Pietersen and the South African players.
"CSA and ECB have discussed the events which led to Kevin Pietersen's non-selection for the third Test. 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," a CSA statement said.
"ECB has unreservedly accepted that assurance and wishes to reiterate that it has no issue at all with CSA ' or the Proteas players ' on this matter and appreciates that the South African and England players follow the highest ethical standards of behaviour," the statement added.
"Although the two Boards do not agree on the sequence of events regarding any responses to messages between Kevin Pietersen and certain Proteas players, the South African Cricketers' Association and CSA accept Collier's apology. Both CSA and ECB regard this matter as now closed."