England pace spearhead James Anderson has dismissed claims made by Kevin Pietersen in his autobiography that a bullying culture flourished in the team in the recent years and described the developments in the last few days as "sad". (Kevin Pietersen still to discover reason for England axe)
The release of 'KP: The Autobiography' this week has been accompanied by controversy with former players either backing or criticising the controversial former batsman. (Andrew Strauss laments 'madness' of Kevin Pietersen fallout)
Anderson said the England team will not let Pietersen's claims distract them when they take on the field against Sri Lanka next month. "We've got cricket to play -- more important things to worry about than someone's book," he said at an event at the Lord's last night. (Pietersen open to England return if Giles Clarke quits)
"The issues that have been brought up are sad really --the dressing room for the last seven or eight years when we've been winning has been amazing," said Anderson. (IPL spoilt Kevin Pietersen, says Nasser Hussain)
Anderson was one of the players Pietersen blames in his autobiography, which was published on Thursday, for creating a bowling clique within the team.
"You don't achieve what we have without guys pulling in the same direction. I can't get my head round it, he seems like he's just not enjoyed it for however long," Anderson said.
"This is not an ideal situation but it's different with Kev. He never got a chance to stand up for himself in the dressing room because the opportunity to be in the dressing room was taken away from him by the powers that be. He is now venting his frustration through a book. You never get a team where everyone gets on together."
Asked if Pietersen's accusations of bullying were true, Anderson said, "Not at all."
Anderson was speaking alongside Pietersen's former team-mates Matthew Hoggard, Paul Collingwood and Simon Jones.
Pacer Jones, who was part of 2005 Ashes-winning team, had some words of support for Pietersen. "For Kev to come out and say the things he has there must be some truth behind it. We will see what happens over the next couple of weeks. I am sure Matty Prior will come back at him.
But I think at the moment, Kev is the happiest man in the world because he's selling books, the press have done him a massive favour and Twitter has gone bonkers and he's a happy man," Jones said.
However, there was little sympathy for Pietersen from fellow 2005 Ashes-winner Matthew Hoggard, who described his former team-mate as being "very bitter".
"I think he is getting a lot of his anger out and it's fantastic way of selling books before Christmas. In relation to the Twitter account that was not investigated properly but everything else I think he's brought on himself and he's just being a kiddy in a schoolground."
Paul Collingwood, about whom Pietersen talks fondly in his book, was also fairly unsympathetic.
"I don't really understand all of this to be honest. The last seven years has been fantastic for English cricket. KP has done a lot for English cricket but also English cricket has done a lot for KP. This is one man's opinion against everyone else's.
"This was one of the most successful teams in English history -- three Ashes wins, No. 1 Test status, a World T20 Cup, a series win in India. If you think the England dressing room was as divided as he says, there is no f****** chance we'd have won any of those things, let me tell you."