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Stuart Broad denies Kevin Pietersen 'bullying' claims

AFP | Updated: October 30, 2014, 5:38 PM IST
Stuart Broad denies Kevin Pietersen 'bullying' claims

England bowler Stuart Broad has dismissed claims by former teammate Kevin Pietersen that there was a bullying culture in the changing room during their time as international colleagues.

In Pietersen's recently published autobiography, he alleges that Broad was a member of a group of senior players who abused less-experienced squad members if they made fielding errors.

But Broad told BBC Sport in an interview published late on Wednesday: "The 'bullying' word has not crossed my mind in eight or nine years of playing international cricket."

He added: "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 union 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's fellow bowler James Anderson, another player accused of bullying by Pietersen, said the South Africa-born batsman's claims threatened to overshadow the team's achievements.

"It puts a bitter taste in your mouth about a really fruitful time for an England team who were one of the best England teams I've been around in recent times," Anderson said.

"We try to challenge each other, try to push each other to improve and get the best out of each other. The culture we built is the reason we got to No 1 in the world (in August 2011)."

Meanwhile, Broad expressed support for batsman Jonathan Trott, who has been selected for the England Lions' January tour of South Africa after withdrawing from England's Ashes squad last year due to a stress-related illness.

"I think if I could choose anyone to bat for my life, it would be Jonathan Trott," Broad said.

"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."

First Published: October 30, 2014, 5:38 PM IST

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