Stokes: Focus on book not cricket

Published: Tuesday 4th November 2014 by The News Editor

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England all-rounder Ben Stokes has lamented the fallout from Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography, believing the controversial batsman’s book has taken the focus away from the national team.

Pietersen created shockwaves with the release of his autobiography last month, where he made a number of derogatory claims criticising the England set-up as well as ex-coach Andy Flower and several current and former players, some of whom have since had their say.

While the furore has died down in the last couple of weeks, the issues may be revisited when England travel to Sri Lanka for a seven-match one-day international series, which gets under way later this month. It is something Stokes would be keen to avoid.

“One major thing that I reckon is that it’s taken the eye off the cricket side of things, it’s been focused on the book rather than the amount of stuff we’ve got coming up,” he said on Sky Sports News.

“We’ve got a World Cup coming up after the new year and we’ve got a massive tour coming up to Sri Lanka.

“We’ve been massively focused on what we’ve got coming up in the next six months and I think the reports can suggest that everything has been based around the book rather than the cricket.”

Arguably Pietersen’s biggest claim was that a ‘bullying’ culture existed in the team, led by the bowlers, who, according to the 34-year-old, “ran the dressing room”.

Pietersen’s remarks came after his sacking by England following the calamitous Ashes whitewash last winter, when Stokes was one of the few to emerge with any credit.

It was on that tour where Stokes was given his Test debut and while he was kept out of the loop regarding Pietersen, he has hailed the dressing room mentality.

“I didn’t have any part in all these things that went on behind closed doors,” he added.

“All the meetings and everything like that, I still don’t know if they actually happened or not so I don’t really think I could comment on anything like that.

“At the moment it’s a really strong dressing room, we’ve got a lot of new faces in it and I think it can only bode well for England in the future.”

Published: Tuesday 4th November 2014 by The News Editor

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