Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England pace bowler Stuart Broad has denied Kevin Pietersen’s claims that bullying was rife in the national team.
In his autobiography, Pietersen also claims that Broad was one of the main bullies in the England side and that fielders were forced to apologise for misfields and dropped catches.
“It is sad and disappointing to hear KP saying he felt bullied throughout his England career,” Broad told the Mail on Sunday. “I’ve not heard other people say they felt it was that way but I can’t sit here and say he is wrong because if he felt that way then he’s right to come out and say so. He has every right to express those opinions.
“But I wasn’t aware he felt like that at the time and I don’t believe other players were either. That word ‘bullying’ never entered my head at any stage in eight years of playing alongside KP in the dressing room.
“I’ve certainly had times when I expressed my disappointment at a poor piece of fielding but it’s always come from an inner will to help the team get better. I can’t remember any raised voices or arguments in the changing room or when guys have come off the field and said ‘that was too much’ or ‘that was too aggressive’.
“I grew up admiring sporting heroes like Martin Johnson, Lewis Moody, Peter Schmeichel, Stuart Pearce and sportsmen like that. They were all fairly outgoing, want-to-win type of characters.
“I wonder if guys like Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce were offended when Peter Schmeichel shouted at them when they made a mistake? I don’t know, you’d have to ask them.”
Meanwhile, Broad also revealed that he is confident he will be fully fit prior to the start of the 2015 World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Broad underwent knee surgery in September and is expected to take part in a bowling camp with the England Lions squad in South Africa in December.
“The surgery has gone brilliantly,” he said. “I’ve been running flat out now for two and a half weeks and I did my first proper bowling last Friday. If I have no setbacks I’ll be good to go for the World Cup.”