Ponting backs KP's bullying claims
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has spoken up in support of Kevin Pietersen's allegations of a "bullying" culture within the England team.
Pietersen, in one of several controversial claims in his recently-published autobiography, accused England's senior bowlers and wicketkeeper Matt Prior of aggressively demanding apologies from teammates not in their clique for any mistakes they made while fielding.
Retired off-spinner Graeme Swann, one of the bowlers singled out by Pietersen, said Wednesday there was "absolutely no bullying" but Ponting supported the claims of England's all-time leading run-scorer.
"We saw them doing it, (James) Anderson was always the same, and Swann," Ponting told the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.
"The pointing of fingers and you'd hear a few expletives if there was a misfield or a dropped catch.
"The guys who were doing it were the so-called leaders. That's where the captain has got to come in, not wait and let little things turn into big things. That's what it sounds like has happened in this England team."
Pietersen tweeted a link to Ponting's quotes on Twitter with the comment: "PLS READ THIS."
Earlier, Michael Vaughan ridiculed a leaked ECB report into Pietersen's alleged misbehaviour during the Ashes whitewash in Australia.
Among the 'offences' of which Pietersen was accused were "staring out the window" and "looking at his watch" during team meetings led by then coach Andy Flower.
It also said he whistled after being dismissed in the final Test in Sydney, and told his team-mates to get thicker skins when they complained of criticism of their performance in tweets by his friend Piers Morgan, the television interviewer, when England were 4-0 down in the Ashes.
Embarrassingly for the ECB, the document also incorrectly spelt England captain Alastair Cook's name as "Alistair".
Former England captain Vaughan derided the ECB document, telling Twitter he had "never read as much b------- in all my time".
Vaughan added: "Never laughed so much... England are 4-0 down in the Ashes and it's because of @piersmorgan tweet."
The ECB insisted the email received by the Cricinfo website was not the official dossier compiled by Flower, criticised severely in Pietersen's book, but an internal email draft drawn up by their lawyers.
South Africa-born Pietersen, 34, dismissed the email's contents on Tuesday by saying: "They couldn't even spell Cooky's name right. It is a joke. I am done with it."