Graeme Swann quickly dismissed Kevin Pietersen’s account of life in the England camp as “codswallop” yesterday and launched a strong defence of their former team-mate Matt Prior.
Speaking at Lord’s at an awards ceremony for grass-roots cricket, Swann said: “I expected it [Pietersen’s book] to be the biggest work of fiction since Jules Verne and that seems to have happened. I immediately realised it was codswallop when I read the character assassination of Matt Prior.
“Tragically, I don’t think Kev realises the one person who fought tooth and nail to keep him in the side is the one person he is now assassinating: Matt Prior.”
The current England squad had been warned before yesterday’s revelations not to comment on the matter, although James Anderson said last week they would not be getting involved in a tit-for-tat argument. Prior did respond via Twitter, writing: “Sad to see the accusations against me and I WILL have my right of reply! However today is not the day for it. After this morning I’m looking forward to reading the full kp book. Might bully my kids into getting it for me for Xmas!!”
Swann, who retired midway through the humiliating Ashes whitewash last winter, added: “Kevin has been quite clever because the guys still playing he has left alone and he hopes to get back in again one day. He has picked on people who he thinks can’t answer back.”
Former England captain Nasser Hussain defended Pietersen’s right to have his say. “It makes fascinating reading,” he said. “KP has provided an insight into the dressing room, albeit his side of things.
“Cricket dressing rooms are a harsh place. It is full of pressures and banter. It is one thing taking the mickey out of someone but not about cricketing matters as they become very personal. Everyone has to look at themselves.”Reuse content