England news February 28, 2014

Dressing room better without KP - Prior

ESPNcricinfo staff

England's dressing room will be a better place without Kevin Pietersen, according to his former team-mate, Matt Prior, which has led to Pietersen responding through Twitter.

Prior, who had a public falling-out with Pietersen after the celebrity journalist Piers Morgan tweeted comments allegedly made by Prior in a private team meeting, admitted that Pietersen's talent should have made him "the best England cricketer to ever walk this planet"

But, when asked in Dubai whether the dressing room would be a better place without Pietersen, Prior replied "yes, it will" and went on to question the batsman's commitment to team success.

"I think one of the biggest things the ECB want to rediscover," Prior said, "is the value of playing cricket for England. The honour and the pride you need to show as an England cricketer.

"And they only want people in that dressing room that are going to be passionate about England winning and performing."

Pietersen responded by seemingly taking a jibe at the fact that Prior was dropped during the Ashes. "Fewer Q&A's, more Sussex nets methinks, @MattPrior13! #josbuttler," he tweeted. In later tweets, he referred dismissively to Prior, England's vice captain, but dropped for the final two Ashes Tests, as "The Big Cheese."

Former England spinner Graeme Swann, who retired midway through the recent Ashes tour, and who later expressed himself mystified by the enforced retirement of Pietersen, suggested that both Prior and Pietersen would have been better served discussing their issues on the phone, instead of in public.

Swann told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I think Matt's been a bit naive doing a Q & A in Dubai...you're never safe in these things. But Kevin has come back in a fairly childish way. I'm sure he has still got his mobile number and could have rung him. But public spats are the new thing."