Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England pace bowler Stuart Broad has denied former batsman Kevin Pietersen’s claims of bullying being rife in the national team.
In his autobiography, Pietersen also claimed that Broad was one of the main bullies in the England side.
“The bullying word has not crossed my mind in eight or nine years of playing international cricket,” Broad told the BBC. “It sounds like Kevin didn’t enjoy his time in the England side, which is disappointing to hear.
“You would expect guys to be excited and passionate about playing for their country. I look at my heroes growing up, the likes of [former England rugby captain] Martin Johnson. Look at [former Manchester United goalkeeper] Peter Schmeichel, when he conceded a goal he certainly gave Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister an earful. I don’t know if that would be classed as bullying, or just the passion of being disappointed.”
Broad also noted that he was glad to hear about batsman Jonathan Trott being included in the England Lions squad for their tour of South Africa.
Trott has not represented England ever since he returned home midway through the last Ashes series against Australia with a stress-related illness.
“We all know the quality he brings as a cricketer,” Broad said. “I think if I could choose anyone to bat for my life it would be Jonathan Trott. It was really sad to see what happened to him in Australia but credit has to go to him, his family and the people around him to get him back up to playing cricket and scoring runs.
“It will be a test for him in South Africa but he’s a proven quality in international cricket and will be desperate to play for England again.”
Meanwhile, after having undergone knee surgery last month, Broad revealed that he is confident about his chances of representing England in the 2015 World Cup.
“I can’t see why I wouldn’t be fit,” Broad said. “I’m going to Potchefstroom in South Africa in December to do some outdoor bowling. Until you’ve played a game it’s hard to really get that match fitness, but I’ll hopefully get on that plane to Australia in better physical shape than I started the summer.”