Pietersen Parody Twitter Account At 'Heart Of The Dispute' With ECB
English cricketer KEVIN PIETERSEN "is believed to have instructed his lawyers to shut down a parody Twitter account followed by his England teammates," according to Josh Burrows of the LONDON TIMES. Reports suggest that the @KevPietersen24 account is "at the heart of the dispute" between Pietersen and the England and Wales Cricket Board. The England batsman has "has fallen out with his employers over the requirements of a new central contract, which would almost certainly prevent him from playing a full season in the Indian Premier League" -- a contract worth about £1.3M ($2M). The fact that fellow English cricketers TIM BRESNAN, GRAHAM ONIONS, MATT PRIOR, JAMES TAYLOR and GRAEME SWANN and STUART BROAD have all either followed or interacted with the fake account "has added to the friction" (LONDON TIMES, 8/8). In London, Derek Pringle wrote Pietersen's "suspicions just highlight the tensions that have been simmering within the England dressing room since he came swaggering back from this year's IPL." Apparently, his "already huge self-regard has risen to the point where he has alienated colleagues and created massive friction among the ranks." Unless England coach ANDY FLOWER or the ECB can discover who is behind the fake account and appeal to their better nature, Pietersen is going to have to "weather the barbs" and "play on" (TELEGRAPH, 8/7).