Former ECB Chief Rubbishes Kevin Pietersen's 'Bullying' Claims

Kevin Pietersen spoke of a 'bullying culture' within the England team's dressing room in his controversial autobiography that hit the stands last week.

Updated: October 12, 2014 20:56 IST
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Pietersen Misunderstood
File photo of former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen.

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Kevin Pietersen's controversial allegations of bullying within the England team have been slammed by former England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier. (Kevin Pietersen Salutes Rahul Dravid in Autobiography)

Pietersen used his autobiography, which went on general sale on Thursday, to make a series of incendiary 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. (Pietersen's book has tarnished England: Alastair Cook)

Pietersen, whose England career was effectively ended by the ECB in February after a disastrous Ashes tour, was particularly disdainful towards Flower in his book, claiming he allowed the bullying culture to grow in the team, with bowlers said to be openly critical of team-mates who dropped catches.

But Collier, who until earlier this year held the top job at the ECB, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek that it would not have been possible for England to enjoy so much success over the last decade if Pietersen's claims were true.

"No accusation of bullying was ever made to me," Collier said. "In any professional sport certain managers and leaders do have intensity from time to time.

"People that we respect as some of the greatest football managers have been known to be fairly robust in dressing rooms. Andy (Flower) is an intensely passionate man, he has the most 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.

"In any professional sport players will get frustrated with each other - that's a fact of life. I didn't see that as in any way affecting the team atmosphere.

"That team were very, very close as a team and one of the frustrations at the moment for some of the senior players is they have created so much for English cricket over the past decade that they want that to be remembered.

"One of the reasons why is that they were all perfectionists, and if you want perfection you have to be hard on yourself."

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