Stuart Broad says he will not have a problem sharing a dressing room with Kevin Pietersen again should the England selectors decide to pick the controversial batsman in the future.
There were reports last week that several senior players had effectively handed new England and Wales Cricket Board director of cricket Andrew Strauss and chief executive Tom Harrison ultimatums, saying they were prepared to walk away from the national set-up if Pietersen was offered a recall.
The Telegraph reports that Broad claims that the allegedly dire relations between many of the players and Pietersen had been greatly exaggerated.
‘I’ve genuinely not spoken to anyone above me or to anyone in the team about KP,’ Broad said at a sponsors event.
‘It doesn’t hurt me or anything, but when people try to put big divides between players and Kevin… I mean, we shared a changing room for eight or nine years. He’s helped me from time to time. We’ve never raised voices at each other. It’s almost perceived to be worse than it is between the players.’
Asked if he would therefore be prepared to play alongside the exiled star once again, Broad added: ‘The biggest point is that players don’t have a choice over who they’re playing with. But anyone in the dressing room who gets given that shirt and cap, you trust, because people above you have the made the decision that they’re the right people to play for England.
‘Down the line, and I don’t know what people are thinking, but if in five years’ time selectors decide KP is this guy they want back in this England side, if people have decided above me that he’s the right person to do that, then of course [he would be prepared to play alongside him].’
STRAUSS ELABORATES ON KP SNUB
Andrew Strauss has said on Sunday that ‘inflammatory comments’ made by Kevin Pietersen in his controversial autobiography helped explain the star batsman’s ongoing exile from the England team.
Strauss’s first week in his new post also saw him sack England coach Peter Moores, but it was his take on Pietersen that provoked the greatest public criticism.
‘Regardless of form, I hope people can appreciate why it is still not right for Kevin Pietersen to come back into the team,’ Strauss wrote in Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper.
‘Despite the depth of public feeling on this issue, the fact is that over the 16 months since his last appearance in an England shirt little has happened to heal the wounds, on both sides, from the fall-out over his omission and the inflammatory comments made in his book about members of the team cannot easily be overlooked,’ the 38-year-old former opener added.
ROGERS SETS DATE FOR RETIREMENT
Australian opener Chris Rogers will retire from Test cricket after the upcoming Ashes series in England.
At the age of 37, Rogers’ retirement was expected to come soon and on Monday the left-hander confirmed he won’t play internationally beyond the five-Test Ashes series that finishes in August.
After making his Test debut in 2008, Rogers was recalled for the 2013 Ashes and has since been a solid contributor at the top of the order, making 1535 runs at an average of just under 40 across 20 Tests. – AAP