KP cries foul over 'vendettas'

2014-10-07 14:44
Kevin Pietersen (AFP)

London - Kevin Pietersen has accused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday of deliberately undermining him and alleged that former England coach Andy Flower had a personal vendetta against him.

A day after his new autobiography was released to the press, former England batsman Pietersen continued his assault on the English cricket authorities in a series of media interviews.

The outspoken South Africa-born 34-year-old, whose book claims that there was a culture of "bullying" within the England team, told the Radio Times magazine the ECB used underhand tactics to tarnish his public image.

"The way the ECB works is it uses the media to get messages out there," said Pietersen, whose international career was effectively ended by the ECB in February after England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia.

"If the ECB could never get at me -- because they knew they couldn't really squash my personality -- they would leak story after story to try to get me through the media.

"But unfortunately, I've got incredibly thick skin, and it never worked."

Pietersen, who was no stranger to controversy when he played for England once being suspended for sending rude text messages about his captain Andrew Strauss to the South African dressingroom, also claimed Flower had an issue with him throughout his five-year tenure as coach.

This Pietersen explained was because he had criticised the former Zimbabwe international's role during his time as an assistant to Peter Moores.

"I think he (Flower) had it in for me ever since he took over because when I was captain, I didn't think he was doing the second-in-command job really well," Pietersen told BBC Radio 4.

"When I said to the ECB to just let me step down as captain and let Peter Moores continue, I gave my views on the coaching structure and I said that I didn't think Andy Flower was fulfilling his role as the second-in-command properly.

"And then he got given the number-one job, and it certainly felt -- the way that he treated me throughout his coaching reign -- that he was looking to try and find ways to get rid of me."

Pietersen, England's all-time leading run-scorer, added that he still did not understand why the ECB had decided to axe him.

"I still don't know why I'm not playing for England. I've never been told," he said.

"I've been told 'cricketing reasons'. Well, 'cricketing reasons'? 'Disinterested'? Can you be disinterested when you're facing 95 miles per hour from (Australia bowler) Mitchell Johnson?"

The ECB has yet to comment on Pietersen's book, KP: The Autobiography, which is published on Thursday.

But former England spinner Graeme Swann, one of the players accused of bullying by Pietersen, has described it as "codswallop" and "the biggest work of fiction since Jules Verne".

However, Pietersen preferred to refer to another former team-mate Chris Tremlett's supportive tweet.

"That is an incredible tweet from somebody who was in the dressing room, who saw what was going on - and obviously Swann's at the centre of this," Pietersen said.

"It happened - and I wouldn't have written this book if I didn't think it happened.

"I know everything that's in this book I can stand by 100 per cent."

Pietersen said he had been reduced to tears over an incident involving Twitter in 2012.

He was told the Twitter account ridiculing him was being written by a friend of team-mate paceman Stuart Broad, although he was not initially aware of that and thought it was indeed the bowler tweeting.

"I dealt with it on a public scale with that Twitter account - and for me, that was incredibly upsetting," said Pietersen.

"These are guys you go to battle with, that I've won tournaments with, played incredible amounts of cricket with, shared the dressing room with for days and days, years and years ... then I get this feeling of total horror when I find out this has been going on.

"It's that hollow, empty, horrendous feeling.

"I was crying in the dressing room at Headingley with the coach, saying 'How has it come to this?'"

Read more on:    kevin pietersen  |  cricket

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