KP STANDS BY BULLY CLAIMS

Midweek Sport - - PUZZLES -

CRICKET

KEVIN PI­ETERSEN in­sists his rev­e­la­tions of bul­ly­ing in the Eng­land dress­ing room are his way of de­fend­ing him­self at last after years of “character as­sas­si­na­tion”.

Pi­etersen’s for­mer team-mate Graeme Swann has de­scribed the su­per­star bats­man’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, due to go on gen­eral sale to­mor­row, as “codswal­lop” and “the big­gest work of fic­tion since Jules Verne”.

But after cit­ing Swann, Matt Prior and for­mer coach Andy Flower as cen­tral forces in the cul­ture of bul­ly­ing he says he and oth­ers en­coun­tered, Pi­etersen is stay­ing on the front foot.

In a marathon round of in­ter­views to pub­li­cise his book KP: The Au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, the 34-year-old re­stated his dis­like for Prior and his de­pic­tion in print of off-spin­ner Swann as “the one who picked on play­ers” in a “dom­i­nant clique” also con­tain­ing fast bowler Stu­art Broad.

Leaked

There have been many con­tro­ver­sies, start­ing when Pi­etersen lost the Eng­land cap­taincy after a row with then coach Peter Moores and con­tin­u­ing with his three­month ex­ile from the team after leaked text mes­sages to op­po­si­tion play­ers about his cap­tain An­drew Strauss in 2012.

“Since the fall-out of the cap­taincy, my character has been as­sas­si­nated on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions and I’ve not been al­lowed to give my side of the story be­cause of the regime we were un­der,” said Pi­etersen

“I think it is pretty im­por­tant for the pub­lic,

STICKY WICKET: Pi­etersen has

crit­i­cized a cul­ture where play­ers were

ter­ri­fied to make mis­takes

FROSTY RE­LA­TIONS: Matt Prior

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