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Pietersen defends bullying claims

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Fallout: Keven Pietersen is highly unlikely to return to the fold with England

Fallout: Keven Pietersen is highly unlikely to return to the fold with England

PA

Fallout: Keven Pietersen is highly unlikely to return to the fold with England

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 the “best 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 broadcast 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.

Pietersen said: “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.

“I think it is pretty important for the public to read this book and go, ‘There is another side’.

“It’s a different spin that the ECB machine are putting on me every single day. I’m not buying it.

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“As sad as it is, it’s been a battle I’ve been fighting since Flower was coach — so I had to try to defend myself.”

Swann is unimpressed, but Pietersen points out a tweet from Ashes-winning fast bowler Chris Tremlett is more supportive.

“That is an incredible tweet from somebody who saw what was going on,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have written this book if I didn’t think it happened. I can stand by it all 100 per cent.


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