London, July 2 (IANS) Former Zimbabwe cricketer Andy Flower opened up regarding his relationship with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen during his time as the head coach of the ‘Three Lions’.
Flower’s relationship with Pietersen seemingly turned sour following the infamous ‘textgate’ scandal that rocked England cricket in 2012.
Flower resigned as the head coach after England were thrashed 5-0 in the 2013/14 Ashes series Down Under and Pietersen was sacked just days after the Zimbabwean’s departure.
Later, in 2014, Pietersen claimed in his autobiography that he was made the scapegoat for England’s losses during Flower’s tenure and also alleged that he was bullied in the dressing room.
In his book KP: The Autobiography, Pietersen described Flower, who took over the reigns of the team in 2009, as ‘contagiously sour’.
“I think looking back at my previous experience, I know that I could have done certain things better,” Flower said on ‘Following on Cricket Podcast’ for talkSPORT.
“I was going to say I’m sure Kevin might think the same with regards to himself and hindering things but actually I’m not sure about that.
“But I know that I could have, with a little bit of wisdom and effort, built a better relationship with Kevin.”
Earlier this year, former England captain Michael Vaughan had also claimed that Pietersen was used as a scapegoat whenever things went south because of the enigmatic character that he used to be.
“They managed players brilliantly for many years but I just feel around that time they just let it drift and they were looking for a scapegoat, and he was the perfect excuse…” Vaughan had told foxsports.com.au. in April.
“In 2012 his text was bang out of order. Now, where English cricket were wrong in my opinion was they allowed him back in and he went to India.
“From (after the tour of India) on you felt like they used him to win a big series and then when it started to go pear-shaped again it was almost as if they had this excuse of why it was and it was always going to be Kevin Pietersen,” he said.
Vaughan had also revealed an incident after the fateful Ashes series of 2013-14 that left a sour taste in his mouth.
“We were getting briefed in the comm box through messages from the England coach at the time, Andy Flower, that it was all (because of) Kevin,” Vaughan said.
“All I kept hearing was ‘Kevin Pietersen’ and I kept going ‘bull****, can’t be just one person. Manage him. You can’t allow one person to derail 15. And it can’t be that it’s just him’.”