Swann labels KP book 'fiction'

2014-10-07 07:47

London - Former England team-mate Graeme Swann began the backlash against Kevin Pietersen's new book on Monday by labelling it "the biggest work of fiction since Jules Verne".

Speaking at an awards ceremony at Lord's, Swann denied accusations that he was part of a clique of bowlers guilty of what Pietersen called "mocking, ridicule, bullying".

The South African-born batsman also included wicketkeeper Matt Prior in his criticisms of England Test players.

"I expected it to be the biggest work of fiction since Jules Verne and that seems to have happened. The one thing I will say is that I immediately realised it was codswallop when I read the character assassination of Matt Prior," Swann was quoted as saying in the Telegraph.

"Tragically I don't think Kev realises the one person who fought tooth and nail to keep him in the side is the one person he is now assassinating: Matt Prior."

Pietersen wrote in the book, "KP: The Autobiography", that Prior was a "schoolyard bully who was also the teacher's pet", and accuses him of "back-stabbing".

But Swann, the off-spinner who retired in December 2013, added: "Kevin has been quite clever because the guys still playing he has left alone and he hopes to get back in again one day.

"He has picked on people who he thinks can't answer back. If that (bullying) was the case a lot of people would have flagged it up before."

The England and Wales Cricket Board, whose managing director Paul Downton is also heavily criticised in the book, declined to comment.


  • Laurie Drake - 2014-10-07 08:54

    Sadly, it would seem as if KP was the soldier out of step with the rest of the platoon; yet when he looked around, everyone else appeared to be out of step with him! Criticism of many of his former team mates is not clever in any situation. RIP KP!

      Richard Barnes - 2014-10-07 10:37

      I think it's a case of a bit of guilt on both sides. There probably was the clique that KP speaks of but, being KP, he probably didn't deal with it in the best way and only served to inflame things. The animosity against Prior surprises me because I believe that Swann is correct in this regard: Prior WAS the biggest pro-KP voice calling for him to be reintegrated into the team after the texting scandal. That would be natural. As ex-Saffies there would be an affinity between the two. It's probably a case of your best friend (or lover in a relationship) becoming your worst enemy if trust is breached and the friendship/relationship breaks down. KP and Prior still appeared to be mates after the series win in India. So something must have happened during the two Ashes series that turned them against each other. I know that there was a major row in Aus when KP wanted to confront Andy Flower and Prior stood against him - after KP alleged that Prior was even more scathing of Flower than he was. But it seems they had already become enemies at that point. KP also didn't seem to be on awful terms with Swann. When Swann left Aus with "some people should be ashamed of themselves", the media all thought he was referring to KP. Swann quickly refuted that and KP weighed in with "I agree - and I know exactly who you are talking about." Neither said who it was but the suspicion was that they were angry with David Warner. So who knows what really happened behind the scenes.

  • Nceba Mbane - 2014-10-07 10:35

    All of this sordid business with KP serves to show one thing, and that is we in SA were quite lucky to "lose" this guy to England.

      Evan Brent Connock - 2014-10-07 13:07

      Had he played for SA, he would have been one of the greats, sadly it would seem that he has an abrassive character and is inclined to rock the boat and not play party politics, in a team based sport it's a sure way to commit suicide, enjoyed watching him bat.

  • Daryl Jackson - 2014-10-07 11:42

    Havnt read the book yet so i cant comment........should be an interesting read!!!

      Richard Barnes - 2014-10-07 11:59

      I don't think we'll ever really know what happened unless more players speak up. Those who like KP will take the book as gospel, those who don't will dismiss it (like Swann) as fiction. The book doesn't prove anything, it just gives one side of the story. We have yet to hear the other.

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