ENGLAND fast-bowler Stuart Broad admits he is friends with the man at the centre of the Kevin Pietersen Twitter row, but insists he has had no input into the controversial parody account.
Posts on the site from the user “KP Genius” have been blamed for widening the chasm between the squad and batsman Pietersen, who has since been frozen out over his dispute with England chiefs the ECB.
Broad yesterday took the unusual step of releasing a statement confirming he knows Richard Bailey, the man behind the account, but denying having any part in the mocking of his erstwhile colleague.
“Mr Bailey is a friend of mine,” said Broad, after talks with the ECB. “But we had no conversations regarding this issue at all and I am pleased that he has now decided to close the parody account down.”
Pietersen has been told he must apologise for sending text messages to South Africa players allegedly deriding England team-mates, or face his exclusion from tomorrow’s final Test against the Proteas at Lord’s being made permanent.
Seamer Tim Bresnan has played down the chaos hanging over England’s attempts to salvage a draw from the three-match series and retain their No1 Test ranking, and believes the team could even flourish without the prolific Pietersen.
“It may be an even better side [without Pietersen]. It’s one of those things where a talented player is being replaced by another,” he said. “So why should we miss a certain individual because he’s unavailable for selection?”