The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Klusener hits back at Smith
- South African allrounder says skipper’s comments are becoming a joke

Durban: Allrounder Lance Klusener, who was dropped from the South African squad for next week’s England tour, has hit out at national captain Graeme Smith for attributing his omission to being a “disruptive influence on the team”.

“It’s becoming a joke. Does anyone really know what’s going on out there'

“For the current captain, who’s played a couple of games with me, to come out with the so-called real reason at a cricketing breakfast is almost laughable,” Klusener said on Tuesday.

His remarks came a day after Smith, who replaced Shaun Pollock as captain after South Africa’s lacklustre performance in the World Cup, reportedly said that Klusener was dropped from the squad largely because he was considered to be a disruptive influence.

“We decided that Lance as a team man can only cause hassles. Lance, as fantastic as he is, can sometimes ruin a team.

“His ability as a cricketer is very good but his ability as a team man is not very good, and he can infect a team and bring down the youth,” Smith had said.

Klusener, who stays in a golf estate called Mount Edgecombe near here, said that though he received a great deal of public support after being dropped from the team, he was disturbed at the way he was treated after the World Cup.

“What’s really disturbing is that, whatever the reason for my being dropped, no one in authority has made any effort to sort it out,” he said.

Klusener said he had only received a call from chairman of the national selectors Omar Henry who said that they were looking for new blood.

When contacted Henry said Klusener was not being excluded completely.

“If there’s a need we will still call on him,” Henry said.

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