at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
New Delhi – Axed England batsman Kevin Pietersen denied he had a bad relationship with his teammates, adding he was the first to help Jonathan Trott during his stress-related illness, a report said on Wednesday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board axed the South Africa-born Pietersen in February following the team’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, despite him being England’s leading run-scorer across all formats.
Officials have not revealed the reason for dumping Pietersen, but it has been suggested that the cricketer’s deteriorating relationship with his team-mates was behind the decision.
“Contrary to popular belief, I have a very good relationship with most of the guys in the English dressing room,” Pietersen, 33, said in an interview published on the Times of India website on Wednesday.
“I like to look after them. If someone is struggling, I like to go up and put an arm around him.”
Pietersen said he was the first to notice that Trott was struggling to handle the pressure which forced him to return home from Australia after the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
“He (Trott) has said that I was the first person to notice his problem,” Pietersen said. “I told him that he needed to calm down and he was putting too much pressure on himself.
“He is doing quite well now,” he said.
England, who won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in 2010 with Pietersen being named the player of the tournament, failed to make the semi-finals of the recent edition in Bangladesh. – Sapa-AFP