Cricket – Swann refutes bullying claims

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Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Swann’s war of words shows so sign of abating after the former spinner denied the sacked batsman’s claims about bullying within the England team.

Pietersen’s allegations that the England dressing room was ruled by bowlers – Swann included – who demanded apologies for mistakes came in his autobiography, which was made available to the media on Monday.

Swann initially responded by calling the suggestions “codswallop” and comparing Pietersen’s work to that of Jules Verne, and on Tuesday offered a further comeback.

[SWANN: KP CLAIMS ARE CODSWALLOP]

Writing in the Sun, he said: “There was absolutely no bullying. Bowlers never had a go at fielders for dropping catches or something that was a genuine mistake.”

Swann’s comments came at the end of an evening in which an England and Wales Cricket Board document which was leaked alleged that Pietersen had called Swann a “c**t”, while at a promotional event for his book Pietersen accused Swann of letting his country down.

Speaking at a question and answer session in Manchester on Tuesday, Pietersen was asked about Swann’s decision to retire midway through last winter’s disastrous Ashes series through injury.

“Do I think it is right he jumped ship? No, I think he let the England team down,” Pietersen said.

“The head coach (Andy Flower) at the time called a team meeting and said he let the team down. A lot of players felt very aggrieved by him jumping ship in the middle of the series. He blamed his elbow. If his elbow was the issue, then his elbow was the issue, absolutely fine but I reckon he could have held on for another couple of weeks and stuck by the lads.”

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