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Dressing room better without KP - Prior

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 28, 2014

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KP bites back at Prior

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 2, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

@geoffboyc on (March 1, 2014, 22:04 GMT) You're right but by the same token has KP being playing consistently well enough over the last few years anyway? If he is a mare but playing particularly well then maybe all the off field stuff can be overlooked but truth is he has not done that much for England in recent times anyway. As I've said , I'd prefer them to maybe keep him in the side for SFs (where shorter series and less time with others make it less likely for frictions to surface) and then maybe drop him from the SL series (which he may be injured for anyway the way he has been in recent years). Then if his replacement does well there is no great loss and if they dont they can revaluate things before they play India. Even if they had no intention of playing him again in tests I wonder if they needed to make such a big long term decision before his contract expired?

Posted by geoffboyc on (March 1, 2014, 22:04 GMT)

Team spirit or whatever other term you use is all very well, but once a professional cricketer gets out in the middle it shouldn't affect the way they bat anyway. Did Cook miss or leave those straight balls that dismissed him because KP had said something disruptive in the changing room? Did Bell lob his first ball from the spinner to mid off because he thought KP might be thinking of sending a disparaging text to someone? Cook may or may not be "a phenomenal cricketer" in Prior's words, but his general form for over 12 months now would have raised doubts about his selection in any other team had he not been captain and apparently fireproof. This business has put a lot more pressure on him.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (March 1, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

Well done Swanny, right on the money there.

Posted by JG2704 on (March 1, 2014, 10:46 GMT)

@milepost on (March 1, 2014, 7:10 GMT) Prior was definitely in the dressing room for (I reckon) all but 2 tests and was probably in the dressing room (around the set up) for the tests where he was dropped so I'd say he knows more than every commenter and every journalist put together about what has gone on. Re FFL going missing - I noticed a few Aus posters going missing on the thread on the last day of the last SA/Aus test. Guess it takes one to know one

@64blip on (February 28, 2014, 13:55 GMT) He hasn't said all that has he? I'm guessing you were in the dressing room all the time and can confirm exactly what KP was like , what he said/did etc ? No , didn't think so. Would you say kind words about KP if he said you weren't good enough to play for the team?

Posted by markatnotts on (March 1, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

@JG2704, yep I find it funny about India. Mind you it is the second most common excuse when England win a test series against anyone. The next most common is 'the ball swung excessively'!

Posted by JG2704 on (March 1, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

@jb633 on (February 28, 2014, 17:01 GMT) Difficult to comment without knowing what went on behind closed doors but unless what KP has done is totally unforgivable I still say they could have just dropped/rested him from a series before the dust settles. My main point is that if KP said what he was alleged to have said about Prior - why should Prior be subtle about KP?

@Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (March 1, 2014, 7:24 GMT) India seem to be in transition everytime they lose to England but I do kind of agree with most of your post.

@jonesy2isaBigot on (March 1, 2014, 9:57 GMT) You are right in the fact that if you read many of the comms on here you'd have thought that KP had single handedly won series and England don't lose with him in the side. You would have thought that KP averaged 70-80 vs Australia and not slightly less than 30 and only a few runs better than most of the batsmen and less than Ben Stokes who only scored 15 runs less in 2 inns less.

Posted by markatnotts on (March 1, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

I see the historical 'revisionists' are out in force again. According to 'severe cricket' England never won a test series without KP!

Posted by hhillbumper on (March 1, 2014, 9:30 GMT)

Every dressing room no has been in has ended the same way.is that not the main point.also it was prior who was instrumental in helping no back after his team destroying texts.I think England made the right choice and no can have his vanity stroked by the vacuous Ipl sideshow

Posted by Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on (March 1, 2014, 7:24 GMT)

@Deuce03 Cook's captaincy is one-dimensional, and after a point it shows. He might be successful, as the numbers show, but you have to take into account that he beat teams like India and Australia which were in transition at that point. They didn't have established match winners and were not playing good cricket. The recent Ashes showed just how bad a captain Cook is. As soon as he was faced with a team with some fight, he became defensive and his team was blown away. He brings now ingenuity to the team. Clarke is a better captain as he can think on his feet and is not the management's puppet. Also, his captaining career is much longer than Cook's and he has led an Australian side through transition. England needs a new captain. One who brings fresh thinking into the camp. Morgan would be the prime candidate. He will also bring the X-Factor to England's batting. Also, Buttler needs to be tried in the test team.

Posted by milepost on (March 1, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

What would Prior know about the England dressing room now anyway, he's not in it. I think KP is justified in suggesting Prior hits the nets back at Sussex. He might want to work on his wicket keeping and PR skills as well.

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