Strauss: KP drama damaging England team

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Former England captain Andrew Strauss has revealed his frustration with the Kevin Pietersen book drama, saying the 'madness' surrounding the autobiography's release will damage the current team.

Former England captain Andrew Strauss has revealed his frustration with the Kevin Pietersen book drama, saying the 'madness' surrounding the autobiography's release will damage the current team.

Pietersen released his book amid a flurry of allegations, particularly about Matt Prior and former coach Andy Flower, saying they presided over a bullying culture in the side, and that Flower 'ruled by fear'.

A variety of former and current players have responded to the book, with some, like Geoff Boycott and Ricky Ponting backing Pietersen, while Graeme Swann and James Anderson have predictably done the opposite.

Strauss told Sky Sports: "A lot of this that's going on at the moment is madness. There's been a lot of rumour, innuendo and opinion. I prefer to stick with the facts. All this tit-for-tat stuff, I don't think really helps the England cricket team.

"The victim here really isn't Kevin Pietersen, or Andy Flower or Matt Prior or anyone; it's actually the England cricket team and Alastair Cook and Peter Moores who've got to try to take the side forward.

"That, to me, is the disappointing thing about this whole episode."

Strauss, who retired in 2012 and spent much of his time as captain with Flower as his coach, defended the Zimbabwean, saying the Pietersen was wrong to say Flower was too strict, or didn't care about the players.

He added: "Andy Flower is a guy of complete integrity. If you look at his record as coach, it's second to none. That idea that the team should come first was central to what we did, and something Andy Flower was very conscious of and protective over.

"Anyone who was testing that would be dealt with accordingly, and rightly so."

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