Anderson: Pietersen’s allegations are ‘sad’

England fast bowler James Anderson has reacted with dismay to the Kevin Pietersen book saga, saying the allegations of bullying and an unhappy dressing room are ‘sad’ and that he didn’t think of it that way.

Pietersen’s assertions that players like Anderson and Matt Prior were bullies towards other not in their little clique have upset a number of players, including Graeme Swann, who called it all ‘codswallop’ and ‘fiction’.

Anderson was frustrated by the dominance of the story this week, and felt the team was being overshadowed, and that their achievements over the years were not given enough credit in KP’s book.

Anderson said: “We’ve got more important things to worry about than someone’s book. 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.”

Anderson also defended then-coach Andy Flower, who KP accused of being too strict, and lamented that the book’s ‘revelations’ would cast a pall over the side’s achievements during that time.

He said: “It’s overshadowed what we achieved. 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 did have some sympathy for Pietersen, saying the batsman wasn’t given the chance to say what he wanted to people’s faces, as he was sacked before he could.

The paceman 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.”