Smith Backs KP's Bullying Claims

Kevin Pietersen's claims that a "bullying culture" was rife in the England squad have been backed by former South Africa captain Graeme Smith.

Pietersen has caused a huge stir with allegations that younger players in the team were intimidated by a clique of senior players, claiming James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Matt Prior were among the worst offenders.

Ex-Australia skipper Ricky Ponting admitted he agreed with some of Pietersen's accusations, and Smith has also come out in support of the former England batsman.

Smith was the Proteas captain during the controversial Test series in England in 2012, when Pietersen was dropped after admitting he sent 'provocative' texts about his own captain Andrew Strauss to Smith and his team-mates.

And Smith, who retired from international duty earlier this year, admitted their series victory was aided by the in-fighting in the England camp.

"Some of the stuff that he touches on in his book I certainly can believe," Smith told Johannesburg-based radio station Highveld FM.

"Having played against them we always used to say if we could get a win or get ahead, that they would turn on each other.

"A lot of the stuff that he's touched on in his book, the bullying stuff, you certainly did experience some of it when you played against them and you knew you could use it as an asset to get on the other side of them."

Smith also appeared to criticise England's management team for their role in the whole saga, insisting the team were worse off without Pietersen.

"KP is a draw card and world cricket loves to watch him play the game," he added. "I think it's sad he is not playing international cricket anymore and I think English cricket is worse off without him.

"Man-management is probably a big factor in why he is not there."
(Sky Sports)

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