FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan has dismissed Kevin Pietersen’s lingering hopes of earning an unlikely Test recall following a series of explosive allegations in his new book KP: The Autobiography.
The South African-born batsman has alleged a bullying culture existed within the national team camp and blamed senior members of the England bowling unit as well wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who yesterday hit back at the claims.
Pietersen depicts Prior as a disruptive influence in the dressing room and says ex-coach Andy Flower attempted to rule by fear during his five-year tenure in charge of England.
The controversial 34-year-old also refuted the so-called cricketing reasons for his England sacking in February and reiterated his desire to represent his adopted country once again, though Vaughan poured cold water on that notion.
“I find the fall out in English cricket very, very sad,” Vaughan wrote on Twitter. “Many are to blame but mostly it’s been a lack of communication and man-management.
“He won’t play for England again so I will remember KP for what he was: a maverick who could play innings that no other England player could.”
Pietersen is England’s all-time leading run-scorer across all formats of the game but claims he felt marginalised and demonised from the moment he resigned as captain in 2009.
He still formed an integral part of the England team which subsequently reached No1 in the Test rankings but is heavily critical of what he says was the intimidation of players, alleging that fielders were forced to apologise to bowlers for any errors, while Prior barracked team-mates.
“Horrendous and hugely disturbing,” he said. “I brought it up on numerous occasions and told [Andrew] Strauss and [Alastair] Cook about it.
“The bowlers were given so much power. Swanny [Graeme Swann] was winning game after game for us, Broady [Stuart Broad] was contributing, Jimmy [Anderson] was contributing. These guys ran the dressing room.
“The double standard for me was the biggest thing. If one of them messed up nothing was ever said. Prior left them alone. He never left alone [Nick] Compton or Ravi [Bopara] or Trotty [Jonathan Trott].”
Pietersen also states he was ignored by England management after raising warnings that batsman Jonathan Trott was not coping well with stress during the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in November 2013.
He claims that Flower later acknowledged his attempts to bring the issue to his attention, although Pietersen has a scathing attitude generally towards one of England’s most successful coaches.
“He built a regime, he didn’t build a team,” added Pietersen.
“I’ve told him this before and I told him during his coaching reign ‘you’re playing by fear here, you want guys to be scared of you and Andy I’m not scared of you.’ He hated it.”
KEVIN PIETERSEN ON THE VERBAL OFFENSIVE
I had been friends with cheese [Matt Prior], now he was slowly losing any sense of himself as he turned up the volume and made himself the main man of the dressing room.
Our cheese was out there, growing runny in the heat. A Dairylea triangle thinking he was brie.
Too often to me he is an empty vessel making a lot of noise.
Being vice-captain seemed to go to his head. Sad, especially when he isn’t really vice-captaincy material at all
He used to get into his Team Sky uniform looking like Clark Kent.
PIETERSEN ON HIS FORMER ENGLAND TEAM-MATE MATT PRIOR
I got told by a senior player that the Twitter account was being run from inside the dressing room. I was completely broken. Absolutely finished, mentally shot.
PIETERSEN ON THE PARADY ‘KP GENIUS’ TWITTER ACCOUNT
My big fault is I’m too honest and if I think something I’ll say it. I’ve fallen on the sword a few times. But also one of my good strengths is to acknowledge when I’m wrong. And I’ll always say I’m sorry when I get it wrong.
PIETERSEN ON HIMSELF