Kevin Pietersen: Matt Prior dragged into war of words with Piers Morgan over sacked batsman
England wicketkeeper accused of being 'a hypocrite' in Twitter row with Piers Morgan
Thursday 06 February 2014
The fallout from Kevin Pietersen's controversial sacking by the England and Wales Cricket Board intensified as vice-captain Matt Prior responded angrily to Piers Morgan's accusation on Twitter that he had stabbed the batsman in the back.
On a day of claim and counter-claim, the ECB refused to elaborate on its statement released on Tuesday night which confirmed the 33-year-old would not play for England again. However, after Pietersen's wife, Jessica Taylor, angrily denied the former England all-rounder Dominic Cork's claim of a confrontation between the batsman and captain Alastair Cook on the eve of the fifth Test in Sydney, the extraordinary social network spat between Prior and broadcaster Morgan brought some of the alleged details behind the saga fully into the public glare.
Morgan, a close friend of Pietersen, appeared to suggest that the South African-born player is being made a scapegoat for falling out with Andy Flower, despite evidence that there were other squad members who had similar problems with the former team director. Claiming to lift the lid on a speech Prior had made to the England team in a meeting after the fourth Test in Melbourne, Morgan accused the Sussex wicketkeeper of being "a flaming hypocrite" and urged him to take legal action if the allegations were untrue.
"Flower's behaving like a headmaster, this is a schoolboy environment. F**K Flower! This is OUR team!' – @MattPrior13 to England team," Morgan tweeted.
"The younger players in England team love @KP24 [Pietersen]. It's the older ones who didn't get IPL deals who resent him – they want his cash & talent. You stabbed @KP24 in the back @MattPrior13 – yet you agreed with him re Flower's dictator style. Makes you a flaming hypocrite. If you didn't say it @MattPrior13 – then sue me. That should clear things up."
Kevin Pietersen (left) with the novelist Jeffrey Archer (centre) and broadcaster Piers Morgan (right) at Lord’s in 2010 (Getty)
In response, Prior, who was dropped for England's final two Tests of the Ashes tour after some indifferent performances, tweeted that there was "no story here".
"I don't do this PR, spinning media rubbish," Prior wrote, "but I refuse to be attacked by a bloke that knows very little about what goes on in the England setup apart from rumour, gossip and hearsay from certain individuals (most of whom I'd take with a pinch of salt!!) maybe I was recorded or 'hacked' but if not I'd like to see where these words I apparently said have come from? There is no story here just an attempt to knock someone who has only ever had the teams best interests at heart."
Pietersen was pictured near his home in London this morning as his agent and the ECB agreed his severance package from his central contract. He posted a single tweet in the morning with a link to a picture of him departing the Sydney Cricket Ground for what was his final appearance for his adopted country.
"So sad that this will now be the last time I leave a field in an England shirt... I love England and I honestly hope they have every success in the future."
Morgan vs Prior: How the Twitter row unfolded
Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)
4.08pm I'm about to tweet what @MattPrior13 told England players in team meeting after Melbourne Test.
4.10pm Flower's behaving like a headmaster, this is a schoolboy environment. F**K Flower! This is OUR team!' 4.24pm: The younger players in England team love @KP24 . It's the older ones who didn't get IPL deals who resent him – they want his cash & talent.
Matt Prior (@MattPrior13)
4.39pm I don't do this PR, spinning media rubbish but I refuse to be attacked by a bloke that knows very little about what goes on in the England.
4.40pm setup apart from rumour, gossip and hearsay from certain individuals (most of whom I'd take with a pinch of salt!!) maybe I was recorded.
4.42pm or 'hacked' but if not I'd like to see where these words I apparently said have come from?
Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan)
4.42pm No denial then @MattPrior13 – noted.
4.47pm You stabbed @KP24 in the back @MattPrior13 – yet you agreed with him re Flower's dictator style. Makes you a flaming hypocrite.
4.56pm If you didn't say it @MattPrior13 – then sue me. That should clear things up.
5.02pm England players perfectly entitled to stab @KP24 in the back. And I'm perfectly entitled to expose their utter hypocrisy. #BringBackKP
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