No truth in Kevin Pietersen’s bullying allegations, says former ECB chief David Collier


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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen’s allegations of bullying within the England team have been dismissed by the former chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The batsman’s new autobiography makes a series of claims against a number of figures within the England set-up, with former head coach Andy Flower and wicketkeeper Matt Prior the two most heavily criticised.

But David Collier, who until the summer held the top job at the ECB, told BBC Radio 5 Live it would not have been possible for England to enjoy so much success over the last decade had Pietersen’s claims had any substance to them.

“No accusation of bullying was ever made to me,” he said. “In any professional sport certain managers and leaders do have intensity. Andy [Flower] is an intensely passionate man, he has superb integrity.

“There is no way we could have had the success over his long and successful period if there hadn’t been huge respect within that dressing room. Players will get frustrated with each other . I didn’t see that as in any way affecting the team atmosphere. That team were very, very close.”

Pietersen, whose England career was ended by the ECB in February, was particularly disdainful towards Flower in his book, claiming he allowed the “bullying” culture to grow and describing him as “Contagiously sour. Infectiously dour” and a “mood hoover”.

England captain Alastair Cook said on Saturday Pietersen’s allegations had “tarnished” a successful period for English cricket.

Collier said allegations made in the summer of 2012 that three England players were linked to the “KP Genius” Twitter account which lampooned Pietersen had been “fully investigated” at the time. Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan have all denied any involvement in the parody account.