Pietersen Claims 'Sad' - Anderson

James Anderson has become the latest England player to attempt to defuse criticisms made in Kevin Pietersen's autobiography. Anderson rejected the idea that a bullying culture was allowed to flourish in the side and said it was "sad" to hear Pietersen's version of his time with England.

The release of KP: The Autobiography this week has been accompanied by controversy at almost every turn of the page, with Andrew Strauss describing the "madness" as potentially damaging to English cricket.

Pietersen's harshest judgements were reserved for Andy Flower, the former team director, and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, who he describes as being part of a bowler-led clique. Despite being part of that group, Anderson is, however, spared opprobrium, described by Pietersen as "the nicest man in the world", and he in turn only had good things to say about the Flower era.

"We've got more important things to worry about than someone's book," Anderson said, speaking at a sponsor's event at Lord's. "The issues that have been brought up are sad really. The dressing room for the seven or eight years we were winning and successful was fantastic. You don't achieve what we did during that period without all the guys pulling in the same direction.

"I can't get my head round it. He seems like he has not enjoyed it for any of the time he was there, but we all enjoyed it."

Asked if Pietersen's accusations of bullying were true, Anderson said: "Not at all." He defended Flower's record, describing England's recent successes as the highlight of his career, and suggested that the fallout from Pietersen's book was beginning to cast a shadow over those years.

"It's overshadowed what we achieved," he said. "We had a successful time under coach Andy Flower. We won three Ashes series, got to world No. 1 and won in India for the first time in 20-odd years - Andy was the driving force behind that.

"That period of time as an England cricketer was the highlight of my career so far, and I'm sure I speak for the other lads when I say it was probably the highlight of their career so far too.

"Sitting on the outfield at Sydney, having won 3-1 in 2010-11, sharing a drink, chatting through our favourite moments of that particular tour will stick with me for many years to come. I'm sure that many of the other lads will feel the same. Hopefully what has come out won't overshadow what we did achieve and what was not just a successful period but a really enjoyable one too."

Anderson added that he would have preferred the issues to "stay in house". Intriguingly, he also seemed to suggest that Pietersen had not made his problems with team-mates clear and that his sacking by the ECB had denied him the chance to defend himself.

"This is not an ideal situation but it's different with Kev," Anderson said. "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."

(Cricinfo)



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