Kevin Pietersen brands ECB 'embarrassing' after leaked dossier emerges

Dossier lists a number of alleged misdemeanours

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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen branded actions of the England and Wales Cricket Board "embarrassing" after a document cataloguing his alleged misdemeanours in Australia last winter was apparently leaked.

The document surfaced as Pietersen undertook a marathon series of interviews to publicise his controversial new autobiography on Tuesday.

It appears to list a number of examples of Pietersen's perceived unsuitable behaviour, factors which may have led to the decision to sack him after England's 5-0 whitewash Down Under.

The ECB was at pains to make clear it was not a dossier of Pietersen's conduct long-rumoured to have been compiled by former coach Andy Flower, but did not deny its allegations.

The governing body stressed the text was a draft internal email for its lawyers.

Its exact status, however, is unlikely to concern Pietersen, who was asked about its emergence after conducting a public question and answer session in Manchester.

The 34-year-old said: "It is embarrassing."

One of the entries misspelled captain Alastair Cook's first name as Alistair.

Pietersen added: "They couldn't even spell Cooky's name right. It is a joke. I am done with it.

"It is so embarrassing I don't want to give it any thought. I am just getting on with my life."

The report, which was uncovered by the Cricinfo website, claims Pietersen broke a curfew, told a physiotherapist he would be keen to return home to rest his problematic knee if England fell 3-0 down and branded Cook as "weak" and "tactically inept".

It also alleged Pietersen was derogatory about Flower and team-mate Graeme Swann and suggested his friendship with celebrity journalist and TV host Piers Morgan was unhealthy.

An ECB statement read: "This document is not what it is purported to be.

"It is simply a small part of a private legal email, compiling facts as part of the ECB lawyers' internal due diligence in preparation for the publication of Kevin Pietersen's book."

Pietersen had himself referred to an apparent "dossier" in his autobiography but concluded: "I would love to see a copy of this dossier. The problem is it does not exist."

Pietersen stood by all the headline-making revelations made in KP: The Autobiography as he conducted interviews from morning to night on Tuesday, culminating in the Q&A to a paying audience of more than 250.

"My character has been assassinated for five or six years, on a regular basis, by the ECB press machine," he said at the Q&A.

On Channel 4 News, he added: "It's now my time to put things right and put the truth out there.

"I can go to sleep knowing that everything I've written in that book is true."

Among his claims he wrote of a "bullying" culture in the dressing room under Flower and was heavily critical of team-mates Swann and Matt Prior.

Former England fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad has corroborated Pietersen's claims that young England players were singled out if they misfielded off senior team-mates.

Swann, however, has branded Pietersen's book as "codswallop" and "the biggest work of fiction since Jules Verne" and insisted "there was absolutely no bullying".

Pietersen has maintained the war of words by criticising Swann's decision to retire from international cricket midway through the Australia series.

"Do I think it is right he jumped ship? No, I think he let the England team down," he said.

Pietersen's book goes on sale on Thursday. The ECB is yet to comment on any aspect of its content having said requests for advances copies from the publishers had not been granted.

PA

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