"He just took it on himself not to be a decent bloke to me" - James Taylor opens up on being bullied by Kevin Pietersen

James Taylor
James Taylor

Former England international James Taylor has divulged how Kevin Pietersen bullied him and said he wasn't good enough to play cricket at the top level. In his autobiography, Pietersen wrote that Taylor should have been a jockey, like his father.

James Taylor had to retire from international cricket in 2016, at the age of 26, due to a severe heart condition. He played seven Tests and 27 ODIs for England. Speaking on Giving the Game Away Podcast, the 31-year-old talked about how he didn't share a great relationship with Kevin Pietersen.

"I will never use it as an excuse, but people say I didn’t play more then 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.. 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,” said Taylor.

In his 2014 autobiography, Kevin Pietersen had taken a dig at James Taylor. He said that Taylor was fit enough for a horse jockey gig and not for cricket.

"His dad was a jockey and James is built for the same gig. We were facing the fiercest attack in world cricket; I didn’t think he was up for it,” Kevin Pietersen wrote.

James Taylor made his Test debut in the 2012 series against South Africa, which is notoriously remembered for the 'text-gate' scandal. Reports emerged that Kevin Pietersen had texted some of his friends in the South African dressing room on how to dismiss Andrew Strauss.

James Taylor didn't care about Kevin Pietersen's remarks

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen

James Taylor went on to talk about how he didn't respect Kevin Pietersen, and didn't care too much about his remarks. Taylor also said that while he liked to watch Pietersen bat, he didn't respect him as a person.

"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. 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.” added Taylor.

Taylor, however, added that he shared a good relationship with Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. He also praised Matt Prior for taking him under his wings, as the former wicket-keeper enjoyed the energy he brought on the field.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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