Pietersen has hit the headlines following the launch of his autobiography this week, in which he has stated that there was a culture of "hugely disturbing" bullying.

The flamboyant batsman, who was axed by the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] in February, has been particularly critical of wicketkeeper Matt Prior and said ex-coach Andy Flower "ruled by fear".

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting supported the accusations made by Pietersen and Smith said he also experienced hostility with the England side at first hand.

"Some of the stuff [in Pietersen's book] I can believe and having played against him we always said if we could get a win and get ahead they would turn on each other," said the former opening batsman in an interview with Johannesburg-based radio station Highveld FM

"A lot of the stuff he has touched on in his book, the bullying stuff, you experienced playing against them and used it as an asset against them.

"KP is a draw card and the world loves to watch him play the game. It is sad he is not playing international cricket anymore and man-management is a big factor in why he is not there."

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann, who was also criticised by Pietersen, dismissed his former team-mate's book as "a work of fiction" and Prior has vowed to have his say when the time is right.