London: Kevin Pietersen’s alleged behaviour in his final weeks as an England player has been detailed in a leaked document that portrays the former England batsman as a troublesome member of a struggling squad.
Kevin Pietersen (right) with England skipper Alastair Cook during the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in Brisbane last year. Pic/Getty Images
The England and Wales Cricket Board said the list of Pietersen’s misdemeanours in last winter’s Ashes, which was leaked to media on Tuesday, was not the tour report delivered by former coach Andy Flower.
KP: The Autobiography goes on general sale today.
The ECB has not denied the existence of a fuller Flower ‘dossier’, but stressed in a statement the draft email that found its way into the public domain was not it.
Pietersen nonetheless finds himself the primary focus of a near day-by-day account of events in Australia, from the first Test in Brisbane to England’s final defeat in Sydney.
It specifies instances of Pietersen being “disengaged” during Flower’s addresses to team meetings, another entry relating he wanted to leave the tour because of pain in his knee if England lost the third Test to go 3-0 down - which they did - and later, abusive subsequent exchanges between him and his teammates as relationships apparently broke down.
The entry from the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, under a heading “Alleged behaviour by KP/incidents involving KP”, reads: “Immediately following England’s fourth day defeat in the Fourth Test, AF (Flower) encouraged Alastair Cook (AC) to lead a team meeting without team management in attendance to try and rally the squad before the final Test. KP told Matt Prior (MP) (and possibly others) that he had no interest in going to the meeting. MP told KP that it was ‘team time, not family time’. ”In the same portion of the document, which was published on Cricinfo, mention is made of Pietersen’s attitude to tweets by his celebrity friend Piers Morgan deriding captain Cook.
The entry states: “It riled the team and management that KP allowed Piers Morgan to belittle AC and the team on social media. When asked by some of his teammates to get Piers Morgan to stop tweeting about the team, KP laughed at the players and told them to get a thicker skin.” Morgan responded to that entry with a tongue-in-cheek Twitter note, saying: “I would like to apologise to all England cricket fans for costing us The Ashes this winter. #SecretDossier #ECBClowns” The document also states that Pietersen had a dig at teammate Michael Carberry, the batsman who was tasked with opening in Australia.
It adds: “KP made disparaging remarks about Michael Carberry in front of other England players and team management prior to the Fourth Test, stating ‘Aren’t there any better players at County level? Carberry is useless’.” That in itself is a contradiction to an interview Carberry gave in March in which he said: “Through the tour, certainly, Kev was very helpful to me. Over the years Kev, as one of the greats of the game, has always been very helpful in talking about the mental side.”
Pietersen was sacked by the ECB in February, following England’s Ashes whitewash - a culmination which marks the final installment in the leaked document. He has referred in his autobiography to a ‘dossier’, a four-page document that lists my crimes in Australia”. But he concludes: “I would love to see a copy of this dossier. The problem is it does not exist.”
The ECB sought to clarify the status of the leaked text, in a short statement. It read: “This document is not what it is purported to be. It is simply a small part of a private legal email, compiling facts as part of the ECB lawyers’ internal due diligence in preparation for the publication of Kevin Pietersen’s book.” —PA Sport