Collier denies KP ‘bullying’ claims

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Kevin Pietersen’s allegations of bullying within the England team have been dismissed by the former chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The batsman’s autobiography went on general sale on Thursday and makes a series of claims against a number of figures within the England set-up, with former head coach Andy Flower and wicketkeeper Matt Prior the two most heavily criticised.

But David Collier, who until the summer held the top job at the ECB, told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme that it would not have been possible for England to enjoy so much success over the last decade had Pietersen’s claims had any substance to them.

“No accusation of bullying was ever made to me,” he said.

“In any professional sport certain managers and leaders do have intensity from time to time. People that we respect as some of the greatest football managers have been known to be fairly robust in dressing rooms. Andy (Flower) is an intensely passionate man, he has the most superb integrity.

“There is no way we could have had the success over this long and successful period if there hadn’t been huge respect within that dressing room.

“In any professional sport players will get frustrated with each other – that’s a fact of life. I didn’t see that as in any way affecting the team atmosphere.

“That team were very, very close as a team and one of the frustrations at the moment for some of the senior players is they have created so much for English cricket over the past decade that they want that to be remembered. One of the reasons why is that they were all perfectionists, and if you want perfection you have to be hard on yourself.”

Pietersen, whose England career was effectively ended by the ECB in February after a disastrous Ashes tour, was particularly disdainful towards Flower in his book, claiming he allowed the ‘bullying’ culture to grow and describing him as ”Contagiously sour. Infectiously dour” and a ”mood hoover”.

England captain Alastair Cook said on Saturday that Pietersen’s allegations had “tarnished” a period for English cricket which had been largely successful.

Collier also said allegations made in the summer of 2012 that three England players were linked to the ‘KP Genius’ Twitter account which lampooned Pietersen – and clearly caused him a great deal of upset – had been “fully investigated” at the time.

Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan have all denied any involvement in the parody account, which had been run by an acquaintance of Broad’s, Richard Bailey, until its closure.

Published: Sunday 12th October 2014 by The News Editor

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