London: Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith on Thursday expressed his surprise at England's decision to end the international career of his Surrey team-mate Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen, 33, was sensationally axed by England in the aftermath of their 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia, despite the South Africa-born batsman being his country's leading run-scorer across all formats. (Click here for latest on Cricket)
England captain Alastair Cook this week described the England and Wales Cricket Board's decision to jettison Pietersen as a "brave call", but Smith feels that the ECB took its decision too hastily. "I'm uninformed, just speaking from an outsider's perspective, but it would be surprising when you have a really quality player like that, and you wouldn't try to make it work," said Smith.
"He's in the middle of his career, has a few good years left in him. If there's a guy in his last two seasons and he's becoming grumpy, then you start to look at things differently.