'I didn't respect him': Former England player's savage Kevin Pietersen dig

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Kevin Pietersen (pictured) carrying drinks and a helmet out to teammates.
Former England international James Taylor didn't have many nice words about Kevin Pietersen (pictured) as a teammate. (Getty Images)

A former England international has ripped into cricket great Kevin Pietersen for his behaviour towards him during their time in the national team.

James Taylor made his debut for England during the controversial series against South Africa with the World No.1 ranking on the line.

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But the series was remembered for Pietersen’s texting saga, where he allegedly messaged an opposing player tips on how to get captain Andrew Strauss out.

Pietersen denies the messages.

Taylor on debut hit 34 in a 147-run partnership with Pietersen, but it was overshadowed after KP went on to score 149 runs.

Taylor said his role in the partnership is often overlooked, which was against arguably the best bowling attack in the world.

But in Pietersen’s autobiography, ‘KP: The Autobiography’, he took aim at Taylor.

“His dad was a jockey and James is built for the same gig,” he wrote.

“We were facing the fiercest attack in world cricket; I didn’t think he was up for it.”

Taylor slams teammate Pietersen

But the batsman has now taken aim at Pietersen who he claimed he ‘didn’t respect him’ after the revelation he “wanted other people in the team”.

“I will never use it as an excuse, but people say I didn’t play more than initially because people thought I was too small. KP obviously jumped on that bandwagon and said stuff about me because he wanted other people in the team other than me,” he said on the Giving The Game Away podcast.

“I didn’t know KP. For some reason we never got on, not that I didn’t like him initially because I didn’t know him, he just took it on himself not to be a decent bloke to me or with me around for some reason.

England's Kevin Pietersen (L) speaks with teammate James Taylor between overs on day 3 of the second international test cricket match between England and South Africa at the Headingley Carnegie stadium.
England's Kevin Pietersen (L) speaks with teammate James Taylor between overs on day 3 of the second international test cricket match between England and South Africa at the Headingley Carnegie stadium. (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/GettyImages)

“I was 21, making my debut, and there was so much noise. KP had obviously said stuff about me and abused me but when I heard about it… Usually when somebody’s abusing you or you’re being bullied at school your heart would sink because someone’s being nasty to you, and nobody likes that.

“But honestly, I didn’t care. Not in an arrogant way, but I’m really proud of myself.

“If Alastair Cook or Andrew Strauss had been going ‘that little James Taylor, he’s rubbish, he’s no good etc etc’ your heart would sink.

“But honestly, I had no feelings, nothing inside, because I didn’t respect him at the time because I’d seen how he was and what he’d been saying and how he’d behaved – I didn’t respect him as much as I should.

“As a cricketer – legend, brilliant, love watching him. But as a person at the time and what I saw I didn’t respect him that much so it didn’t hurt me as much.”

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