Kevin Pietersen on working with Andy Flower, the IPL and captaincy
Watch every episode of 'KP: Story of a Genius' On Demand from Thursday
Last Updated: 31/07/19 4:34pm
Kevin Pietersen lifts the lid on working with Andy Flower, the IPL, captaincy and more in a Sky Originals documentary 'KP: Story of a Genius' - and some of his former team-mates have their say too...
Watch the series On Demand from Thursday, or catch one episode during each of the five Ashes Tests this summer...
KP on Andy Flower
"It needed to be Flower's way and that's the only way. I thought he was a 'mood hoover'. He was the kind of bloke that came in the room and immediately the mood would just go. The way he engaged with me from the start, he completely lost me. He didn't think I cared.
"He challenged me on so many different things. I just thought 'Dude, I don't need you in my life'. Cricket is a team game made up of individuals. Don't treat every single person the same.
"Why was I disengaged? What had led up for three, four, five years before that? Don't you think that a strong leader, strong coach would have been able so say 'what's been happening in the dressing room is [expletive]?' Do you think Duncan Fletcher would have allowed that to happen? Fletcher was England's greatest coach.
"Australia was rubbish [when Flower was England coach]. He had amazing players. You name the players in our team. They were on fire. The best coaches and man managers are able to make sure it doesn't go as pear-shaped as it did [during the 2013-14 Ashes series in Australia]."
KP on England's dressing-room culture
"I said to Jimmy Anderson once in a Test match, 'the only thing I am really scared of is passing the ball back to you at mid-off. If it goes below your knee or drops on the floor you just give me that look, you just stare at me'. Should I have ever been in a position to say that to one of my bowlers? Guys were crying in the dressing room because of the abuse they were taking from the bowlers. Should I hate playing for my country that much? Some guys didn't want to get selected for England because of what (Stuart) Broad, Anderson, (Matt) Prior and (Graeme) Swann were like."
KP on Matt Prior
"He was dropped and the most negative guy around that dressing room. He was talking about finishing his career, how much he was hating it and when someone is completely bombarding negativity around then I'm out. I've got no interest. He was Flower's little go-to man, spokesman, who would go back and tell Flower everything that was happening in the dressing room."
KP on struggling as captain
"I never understood failure because I hadn't failed. I never understood families because I didn't have a family. I didn't understand being homesick because I'd never been homesick. Those three things are so vital to being able to deal with every single player in your team. I didn't understand a bloke suffering from bad form. So how am I going to relate to a bloke who's struggling? Was I a good captain? Should I have been given the captaincy? Absolutely not. But I was the only one playing all three forms of the game."
KP on Peter Moores
"He was somebody who came and kept pecking your head - train, do this, that. When you are in the international environment you need to take pressure away from players not put it on. He put pressure onto players, senior players. Clearly ask questions but understand what has made me successful and what will continue to make me successful."
KP on the IPL
"All the best players in the world were having opportunities to go there for a period of time and fill their wallets. Our careers are only so short, so you have to make hay while the sun shines. I never wanted to move on from England. I wanted my schedule monitored because I was the only player in the England set-up playing Twenty20s, Test cricket, one-day internationals and had a very lucrative contract in the IPL. They do it now. They look after every single person's schedule. I was playing the most number of days in international cricket apart from MS Dhoni at the time. I said: 'Just manage my workload.' I didn't want to move on from England. Are you crazy?"
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT KP?
"I know Kevin. He does hold a grudge and when he decides to destroy someone he goes for the full cavalry approach. Batters and bowlers is the biggest divide in any dressing room. It's never bullying, it's never an actual split in the team. That team had a brilliant team spirit. If anyone thought me, Matt, Jimmy, Broady were bullies, they were in the wrong sport. They shouldn't be playing sport. We were not bullies."
"Why does Kevin have to be best mates with his team-mates? He was the top-scorer [in the 2013-14 Ashes]. You drop the best player because he didn't get as many runs as you wanted him to get but you keep someone who it not as good as him because he's a nice bloke in the dressing room. That's the weirdest selection policy I have ever seen."
"I just felt that it was almost 'this is the perfect chance to blame Kev because he has been a bit of a prat'. I was on that [2013-14 Ashes] tour as a broadcaster and the amount of briefing in the press room from inside the England camp about Pietersen was pathetic. Just focus on playing. Play better. You can't be blaming one person."
"[KP's sacking] was a very hard one to manage correctly and I don't think it was managed correctly. I don't think it was deliberate but I do think Alastair Cook bore the brunt of it and that was unfair on him.
"The whole thing's been very messy. It hasn't been English cricket's greatest time. There are a lot of people who are still very raw and wounded about the whole thing, Kevin being one of them. There are other people who perhaps haven't been so public who also feel very wounded and raw."
"Kevin Pietersen and English cricket reached the end of the road together. Certainly when I came in, bearing in mind that he had been out of the team for 18 months, I felt that it was a step back. My job [as director of England men's cricket] was to take English cricket forward.
"It came down fundamentally to what became a lack of trust. KP didn't trust a lot of people at the ECB, probably didn't trust some of his team-mates, some of his team-mates probably didn't trust him. That's not a rich environment to play a team sport in."
Watch all five episodes of 'KP: Story of a Genius' ON DEMAND from Thursday or catch one episode per Test during this summer's Ashes series.
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