Stewart wades into KP saga

2014-10-09 11:25
Kevin Pietersen (File)

London - Former England captain Alec Stewart said on Wednesday Kevin Pietersen had been right to complain of England players' Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan's access to a parody Twitter account mocking the star batsman.

Pietersen, in a heavily-trailed autobiography which is on general sale on Thursday, has written of a "bullying" culture during his time within the England dressing room.

In particular, he did not take kindly to the 'KPgenius' Twitter account owned by Richard Bailey, a friend of England paceman Stuart Broad.

Pietersen's book states Bailey told Stewart he had insider help with the account.

However, Bailey has persistently denied this and on Wednesday he again insisted no England players had been involved, telling the Guardian newspaper: "They 100 percent did not tweet it."

But Stewart, South Africa-born Pietersen's coach at county side Surrey, contradicted Bailey's denial.

"The reason I am prepared to talk about is that he (Bailey) has said he didn't say anything to me and therefore is doubting my integrity and I won't have that," Stewart explained in an interview with BBC Radio Five on Wednesday.

"I'm not here to nail Pietersen, Broad, Swann, Bresnan. I'm an ex-England player and an England fan.

"What happened, back in 2012 at The Oval, this gentleman (Bailey) came up and said to me: 'I understand you follow the KPgenius Twitter account'.

"I said 'yes, some of it is funny, some of it is close to the bone'.

He then said 'that is me', I said 'very good, well done'. He then came back and said, 'can I keep a secret?', I said 'yes, but it depends what you're going to tell me'.

"He said 'I can't tell you' and then walked away. Thirty seconds later he came back and said 'three players have access to the account, they have the password' and he told me the three names.

"The names were Bresnan, Broad and Swann and it didn't sit comfortably with me," added Stewart, England's most-capped player.

"Not because I wanted them three players to get fined, but it didn't sit comfortably with me if what he was saying was factually correct.

"I then made Hugh Morris (the then managing director of the England and Wales Cricket Board), and Andy Flower (then England coach, who is heavily criticised in Pietersen's book) at a later date, aware of the conversation, passed on that information and left it at that.

"If the ECB wanted to investigate or ignore, they could.

"I'm not going to doubt what Pietersen, Broad, Swann, or whoever has said, but I will guarantee 100 percent this lad said that to me."

Pietersen's autobiography accuses England's senior bowlers and wicketkeeper Matt Prior of aggressively demanding apologies from team-mates not in their clique for any mistakes they made while fielding.

It was a claim supported by former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Wednesday: "We saw them doing it, (James) Anderson was always the same, and Swann."

Pietersen, effectively sacked by England after their 5-0 Ashes debacle in Australia was completed earlier this year, responded to Ponting's comments by saying Wednesday: "I haven't even spoken to Punter (Ponting).

"When I woke up this morning and I saw this, one of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game, how do you think he views it when he's in the opposition and he's seeing team-mates abuse each other and bully each other on a cricket field?"

Pietersen's prospects of playing for England again appear slim but the 34-year-old - England's all-time leading run-scorer - insisted on Wednesday he had not given up hope of an international recall.

"Six months' time, you never know, there could be a change at the top, I live in hope," Pietersen said. "And one day I hope to be able to play Test cricket again."

The ECB have yet to respond to Pietersen's autobiography or Stewart's comments.

Read more on:    kevin pietersen  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.