Kevin Pietersen has hit out at the “horrendous” bullying of some of his former England team-mates and accused former coach Andy Flower of “ruling by fear”.
Despite being England’s all-time leading run-scorer across all formats, the South Africa-born batsman was sensationally axed after the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia in 2013/14.
The England and Wales Cricket Board then gave several convoluted explanations as to why their former captain had been discarded, citing the need to “support” current skipper Alastair Cook as a central reason.
In an interview with Monday’s edition of the Daily Telegraph, to promoted an autobiography due to be published on Thursday, Pietersen said he still did not understand why he was effectively sacked.
He added that Cook had been put in an “incredibly difficult position” by the ECB, following his banishment from the team.
Despite everything Pietersen — who has scored over 8,000 runs in 104 Tests, including 23 hundreds at an average of nearly 48, insisted he had not given up hope of representing England again even though he played no County Championship cricket for Surrey last season.
“Why was I sacked? I’d love to know,” he said.
Pietersen, 34, added he’d been shocked by the way senior bowlers Graeme Swann (now retired), Stuart Broad and James Anderson as well as currently injured wicketkeeper Matt Prior abused fielders for dropping catches.
“The thing that horrified me was when Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss said: ‘Guys we’ve got to stop this, it’s not right for the team, there are guys that have come to (us) that are intimidated to field the ball.’