Kevin Pietersen claims 'sadden' Stuart Broad & James Anderson

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
No England bullying culture - Broad

England fast bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson say they are saddened and disappointed by Kevin Pietersen's allegations of a bullying culture in the dressing room.

Both players also denied any involvement in a Twitter account that set out to parody the former batsman.

Broad said: "The bullying word has not crossed my mind in eight or nine years of playing international cricket."

Anderson said a bullying culture was "certainly not something I remember".

Pietersen, sacked by England in February, claimed in his book that Broad, Graeme Swann and Matt Prior were the ring-leaders in a bullying clique, and added that Anderson "ran with them".

Broad added: "It sounds like Kevin didn't enjoy his time in the England side, which is disappointing to hear."

Anderson said: "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."

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."

Pietersen, who scored 8,181 runs at an average of 47 in 104 Tests, had his contract terminated following England's 5-0 Ashes defeat down under as the England and Wales Cricket Board set out to create a new "team ethic" without the South Africa-born batsman.

In an inflammatory memoir, released earlier in October, Pietersen said he was "marginalised and demonised" by the England team management.

He accused head coach Andy Flower and some senior players of creating an intimidating team atmosphere in which players were forced to apologise if they dropped a catch or made mistakes while fielding.

Broad and Anderson both said they could not recall players being asked to say sorry for errors, but defended the will to win of a team that won the Ashes in 2009, 2010-11 and 2013 and rose to number one in the world Test rankings in 2011.

"You would expect guys to be excited and passionate about playing for their country," said Broad, who has 264 wickets in 74 Tests.

"I look at my heroes growing up, the likes of [former England rugby captain] Martin Johnson. Look at [ex-Manchester United keeper] 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."

Anderson, England's second-highest Test wicket-taker with 380 victims, added: "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 number one in the world."

In the book, Pietersen says he felt "broken" in 2012 when he was led to believe that a Twitter account mocking him was being run from inside the England dressing-room.

Earlier this month, former England captain Alec Stewart said he had been informed at the time by the account's creator, Richard Bailey, that Broad, Tim Bresnan and Swann all had passwords to the @KPGenius account. Stewart then raised his concerns with the ECB.

Broad said he was not aware of anyone in the team who could send tweets from the account.

"Back in 2012 I thought that had been dealt with," he added. "I denied it at the time. I sat in a room with Kevin in Mumbai and all seemed fine. But it's people's opinions, you can't change that. Everyone's got books to write, to fill pages, and that was part of Kevin's book. I'm not unhappy with him about that."

Anderson added: "I wasn't aware of anything. The ECB looked into it and there were chats with KP around the time of his reintegration. As far as we are concerned that was sorted out."

Broad is currently recovering from surgery on the patella tendon of his right knee, but hopes to be fit for England's tri-series in Australia in January, and the World Cup in February and March.

"I can't see why I wouldn't be fit," he said. "I'm going to Potchefstroom in South Africa in December to do some outdoor bowling. Until you've played a game it's hard to really get that match fitness, but I'll hopefully get on that plane to Australia in better physical shape than I started the summer."

On batsman Jonathan Trott's return to international cricket for the England Lions tour of South Africa, Broad added: "We all know the quality he brings as a cricketer. I think if I could choose anyone to bat for my life it would be Jonathan Trott.

"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.

"It will be a test for him in South Africa but he's a proven quality in international cricket and will be desperate to play for England again."