A dossier detailing Kevin Pietersen’s serial misbehaviour on England’s cataclysmic Ashes tour was revealed on Tuesday night.
It lists several examples of the type of conduct which led to his sacking by the England and Wales Cricket Board and suggests that he regularly undermined the authority of the team management.
In his highly controversial autobiography, which is published tomorrow, Pietersen castigates the former coach, Andy Flower, and several of the players with whom he shared the dressing room. But he said that any document recording his alleged misdeeds, which has been a smoking gun for months leading up to publication, was an “imaginary dossier”.
The England and Wales Cricket Board acted quickly when the document was leaked on the website Cricinfo, only to be removed within minutes. Richard Bush, of the ECB’s lawyers, Onside Law, said a document had been prepared by the firm for their clients but that the appearance in the public domain of a “sliced and diced” version of the material was inexplicable.
KP reaction: what they said
KP reaction: what they said
1/9 NASSER HUSSAIN Former England captain
“I have nodded and agreed with some things. However, I can’t see any way back for him with some of the things he has said and that’s the thing he will be most disappointed with.”
2/9 MICHAEL VAUGHAN Former England captain
“Find the fall out very sad. Many to blame but mostly it’s been a lack of communication and man management.”
3/9 DAVID LLOYD Former England player and coach
“Players get hot under the collar of managers, managers get hot under the collar of players. It’s always good to get things off your chest.”
4/9 DOMINIC CORK Former England all-rounder
“There was a clash of personalities, so this is about getting back at Flower. Pietersen has left a trail of destruction wherever he has been.”
5/9 MARK BUTCHER Former England batsman
“Good day for a spot of reading. Something with juicy conspiracies & misguided characters... James Ellroy it is then.”
6/9 PIERS MORGAN Television presenter
“Kevin Pietersen’s book has torn off the closely guarded veneer from England’s bullying, clique-ridden, petty, jealous dressing room.”
7/9 MIKE GATTING (right) Former England captain
“I’m sure there will be lots of ‘he said, she said’ ... I’m sure we’ll all listen and have a wry smile, because there’s always two sides to the coin.”
8/9 GEOFF MILLER Ex-England player and selector
“To the best of my knowledge there was no atmosphere of bullying within the England set-up.”
9/9 BRIAN MOORE Former England rugby union player
“Sad to see English cricket tearing itself apart; the game, the country is bigger than any individuals; Flower, Prior, Pietersen – anybody.”
But the ECB did not claim that the substantive points in the document were wrong. They seem to show that Pietersen was involved in several incidents throughout the tour which reflect his constant unease with the way it was being conducted.
It records that Pietersen “ranted” at Flower in the wake of the fourth Test defeat at Melbourne and alleges that he called Alastair Cook’s captaincy “weak and tactically inept”.
There is a further accusation that he breached team discipline when the squad reached Adelaide, where Flower gave express instructions to players not to stay out late “which KP immediately disobeyed by taking out two young players drinking with him until late (an incident which was front-page news in the Adelaide press).”
The document also says that in Perth, with the team 2-0 down, he told a team physiotherapist that if the team lost his troublesome knee was “really going to be playing up”.
Pietersen had earlier resumed his blistering assault on the culture and outlook of the team. In interviews to promote his autobiography he continually restated his claims that the dressing room was an unhealthy environment, where mutual trust between him and the management had ceased to exist.
“Andy Flower is not coach any more, that’s not a bad thing at all,” Pietersen told BBC Breakfast early in his whistle-stop studio tour. “They don’t have [wicketkeeper Matt] Prior in the team any more, the ECB booted him out. This team can grow with youngsters. The culture can change now.”
Pietersen accused Flower, who is still employed by the ECB as director of elite coaching, of trying to get rid of him throughout his time in charge. The ECB declined to comment on the book or interviews.
As in KP: The Autobiography, Pietersen was unsparingly candid, if less profane, in his round of live chats with carefully selected interviewers. If anybody thought he might temper his views on Flower they were badly mistaken.
“I didn’t have a great relationship with the coach throughout his reign,” he told the Today programme on Radio 4. “I think he had it in for me ever since he took over because when I was captain I didn’t think he was doing the second-in-command job really well. And then he got given the No 1 job, and it certainly felt the way that he treated me throughout his coaching reign that he was looking to try and find ways to get rid of me.”
If this is so it seems to be at odds with the generally held belief that Flower was instrumental in Pietersen’s recall to the side after his troubles of 2012, which initially prompted his dropping.
It became abundantly clear as the day wore on that Pietersen is still upset at the fake Twitter account set up in his name in the summer of 2012 and which he still suspects some of his team-mates had a hand in. He was told that some players were accessing and updating the account.
“When I got told that I was ruined. It absolutely ruined me,” he said on BBC Breakfast. “There’s one thing about banter but when it’s public humiliation? I was at an absolute emotional low.”
He returned to the subject on Radio 5 Live during an interview with Adrian Chiles. Listening as the BBC’s cricket correspondent, Jonathan Agnew, to whom Pietersen had refused to grant an interview, dealt with the issue of the account and the dressing-room atmosphere at the time, he walked towards a microphone.
“Why was the Twitter account buried by the ECB when they knew how it made me feel?” he asked Agnew. Before Agnew could reply, Pietersen said: “And I’m off,” and with that left the studio.
Pietersen, who insisted he has a “great relationship” with everybody in the present side and missed playing, said that he still does not know why he was sacked by the incoming managing director of England cricket, Paul Downton, last February and derided Downton’s later claims that he was uninterested during the final Sydney Test.
“When they sacked me they never gave me any of these reasons. I still don’t know why I’m not playing for England.”Reuse content