Kevin Pietersen: England bowlers disrespectful - Michael Vaughan

Kevin Pietersen with Michael Vaughan
Vaughan was the England captain when Pietersen made his Test debut in 2005

Ex-captain Michael Vaughan has backed Kevin Pietersen's claims that England's bowlers were an intimidating clique, adding they could be "disrespectful".

Pietersen, who was sacked in February, claims there was a "bullying culture", where players were forced to apologise if they made mistakes in the field.

Vaughan said the "bowlers' cabal" has been a "problem for several years".

"The likes of Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad have been disrespectful to fielders," he wrote in the Telegraph.external-link

Pietersen's views on the England set-up
On former coach Andy Flower: "He built a regime, he didn't build a team. I've told him this before. I told him during his coaching reign."
On wicketkeeper and former vice-captain Matt Prior: "He's back-stabbing, he's horrendous, he's bad for the environment."
On senior players such as Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad: "The bowlers were given so much power. But these guys ran the dressing room."
On learning of a parody Twitter account of him: "I got told by a senior player that the account was being run from inside our dressing room. I was completely broken, absolutely finished, mentally shot."

Vaughan, 39, who captained Pietersen in England's 2005 Ashes-winning team, added: "No one drops a catch on purpose. How would they feel if every time they bowled a bad ball everyone turned to them and said: 'What the hell are you doing?'"

Vaughan said he had encountered a similar situation in his early years at Yorkshire, where he would "hate" fielding because he was "scared" of making a mistake.

"The irony is that James Anderson has spoken about how difficult it was for him when he first played for England," Vaughan added.

Kevin Pietersen's England highs & lows

"So I hope these bowlers know what they are doing to the guys around them, especially the inexperienced ones."

Nottinghamshire fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad, who played one Test and 11 one-day internationals for England, agreed with Pietersen's assessment of cliques in the dressing room.

"I wish I could have socialised with my peers a bit more and been accepted a little bit more," Shahzad, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Off the pitch you would go off and socialise with your friends in the team, and there were maybe two or three cliques who would stick together. I guess these cliques are not a healthy thing to develop."

Pietersen, whose new book is published on Thursday, also accused wicketkeeper Matt Prior of being a disruptive influence on the team.

Former England spinner Swann described Pietersen's claims as "codswallop". He added that the book was "the biggest work of fiction since Jules Verne".

Pietersen had his England central contract terminated in the wake of the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, as the England and Wales Cricket Board set out to create a new "team ethic".

Speaking to the Telegraph on Monday, he claimed he had been "marginalised and demonised" by England and that ex-coach Andy Flower "ruled by fear".

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
"There is not much happiness in this book. It must have been an exhausting existence for Pietersen because it does seem to have been one long argument. While all these massive arguments were going on, England won the Ashes three times, it should have been a really joyful time, and it was for people who enjoy watching cricket and for the majority of those who were playing in it. But the book is a long gripe. He's not a happy chappy and yet he brought so much happiness to an awful lot of people."

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott said Flower had failed to man-manage Pietersen.

Boycott told BBC Radio 5 live: "I have played in a lot of teams. The best captains I played with could be forthright when they wanted to be but understood the different needs of the members of the team.

"The real leaders can handle different types of people. It has been quite obvious for some time that the England set-up has not been able to handle KP. KP maybe has part of the blame but if you are someone like Andy Flower, you're not out there scoring runs, so your job is to pull all the players together."

Twitter account ruined me - Pietersen

Former England captain Mike Gatting said: "Think of bullying KP, I'm not sure that's quite right. He's a larger than life character, he is his own person at times and he gets on and does things," he told 5 live.

"Maybe he didn't like what was being done, but he was captain remember, for a short time. Sadly that didn't last long. So he had a chance to actually mould something in that team and he didn't take it."

Former England batsman Allan Lamb told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's quite sad to hear but I think it's something that's gone on. In every dressing room you are always going to have someone who is upset."

Asked if there was any chance Pietersen could make an international return, Lamb said: "I can't see that happening. I can't see the ECB taking him back after this."

Watch Kevin Pietersen's full interview with BBC Breakfast.