Broad denies parody involvement
Stuart Broad has issued a statement denying any part in the creation of a parody Twitter account that mocked his England team-mate Kevin Pietersen.
Broad, the England Twenty20 International captain, and Alex Hales, who took Pietersen's place at the top of the order in England's T20 side, were both alleged to have been involved in the account by Pietersen's friend, the chatshow host Piers Morgan.
The real creator of the parody account, Richard Bailey, came forward on Monday and not only apologised for the trouble he had caused, but clarified that he had worked alone. While Bailey is a friend of Broad and Hales, all parties insist that no professional players were in any way involved either in setting up the account or supplying information.
"Following last night's statement by Mr Richard Bailey that he was responsible for creating a parody Twitter account in Kevin Pietersen's name, I would like to confirm that I had no involvement in this whatsoever," Broad said
"I met with the Managing Director, England Cricket, Hugh Morris this morning and assured him that I did not play any role in the creation of this account or provide Mr Bailey with any information regarding Kevin Pietersen or the England team.
"As has been widely reported Mr Bailey is a friend of mine, but we had no conversations regarding this issue at all and I am pleased that he has now decided to close the parody account down."
Broad's words echo the results of an ESPNcricinfo investigations last week that identified the creator of the parody account, but found no evidence that any England player had been actively involved in it at any stage. That information was communicated to senior officials of the ECB.
Morris added: "Having discussed this matter with Stuart, I am fully satisfied that he acted in a professional manner at all times and did not breach any confidences regarding fellow England players.
"ECB also accepts the apology Mr Bailey offered last night to the England team via his Twitter account and his re-assurances that no professional cricketers were involved in the creation of this site."
Meanwhile Andrew Strauss expressed his surprise in the escalation of events that has led to Pietersen being dropped from the team for the third Test. Strauss, England's Test captain, also expressed his disappointment that private dressing room matters should have been aired so publically.
"I've always got on very well with Kevin," Strauss told Sky Sports. "I've tried to be honest with him, and he's been honest with me. That's why this has all been a bit of a surprise for me. The discontent Kevin had with the Board over his contract situation is one that the players didn't get involved in; I didn't really get involved in it, if I'm honest with you. But over the last week, I've had to get involved as there were issues that were more central to the other players and our ability to perform out in the middle.
"I'm a big believer in not airing dirty laundry in public. That's one of the core values of our team: what goes on in the dressing room stays in the dressing room and anytime anyone has fallen foul of that they have been disciplined and rightly so. It's about mutual respect and trust and that's a core issue that is central to resolving this."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo