Former England batsman James Taylor has admitted he lost respect for Kevin Pietersen as a result of some “embarrassing” antics from his team-mate after a Test match in 2012.
Taylor’s career ended two years ago when he was diagnosed with a serious but previously undetected heart condition which could have claimed his life, forcing him to retire at the age of 26.
He has written about his first England Test – the second Test against South Africa at Headingley – in an extract from his new autobiography ‘Cut Short’, which is being serialised in the Daily Telegraph.
Kevin Pietersen (149) and Taylor (34) put on a 147-run partnership in the middle during that Test in Leeds, but the former Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire batsman was shocked by what happened after the game.
Taylor wrote: “In the end the game petered out into a draw, but while the Test may have been over, the pantomime was about to start. His (Pietersen) outburst appeared on the television.
“That press conference should have been all about KP scoring one of the greatest knocks of all time. Instead it was: ‘Look at me, feel sorry for me’. It was just awful, exactly what England didn’t need. It was hard to take in.
“Playing for England had been my absolute dream. Now, having done it, my overriding thoughts were utter disbelief as to how Kevin had behaved in that press conference. Put simply, I found his antics embarrassing.”
Taylor says he was reportedly told by team-mates and coaches that Pietersen said he should not be in the team, but says he had seen the light and completely lost respect for his fellow batsman.
He wrote: “His presence had long been divisive and had caused serious disjointedness to the side. Add in a tough series against South Africa, losing the first Test heavily, the lads being tired, and one massive ego stamping around in the middle of it all and it was a powder keg just waiting to be ignited.
“The England dressing room at that time wasn’t in a good place. KP at that point just didn’t seem a team player.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I first experienced being in the same team as him. I couldn’t believe how he behaved. The scales had well and truly fallen from my eyes.”
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